Alphabetical Plant Listing

Limnobium spongia (American Frogbit)

American Frogbit, American Spongeplant, Frogbite, Hydrocharis cordifolia, Hydrocharis spongia


Limnobium spongia (American Frogbit) is a floating, aquatic perennial forming loose rosettes of thick and leathery, rounded or somewhat heart-shaped leaves, 1-3 in. across (2-7 cm). The younger leaves tend to be glossy bright green above and reddish underneath. American Frogbit can freely float on water or root itself in mud. Tiny inconspicuous white flowers are produced in summer and fall. The root system is fibrous and stoloniferous. American Frogbit can spread aggressively in warm climates by means of its stolons. In the northern part of its range, American Frogbit overwinters as dormant turions sink to the ground until spring, while in warmer climates it can grow throughout the year. Native to the eastern United States, American Frogbit occurs naturally in swamps, the water of lakes and ponds, muddy borders of lakes and ponds, and deep ditches. American Frogbit is a popular addition to water gardens and ponds, where it provides attractive foliage cover and discourages algae growth. Its succulent leaves are eaten by turtles while its fruits and seeds are eaten by waterfowl.

  • Grows up to 1-2 in. tall (2-5 cm). 
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade on still or very slow-moving water in water gardens, ponds or aquatic containers.
  • Virtually pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for Cercospora limnobii, a fungal disease that can cause brown lesions to develop on the leaf blades.
  • Reduce its spread by removing portions with a net.
  • Native to the eastern United States.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the U.S.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1" – 2" (2cm – 5cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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Victoria Tucholka, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1" – 2" (2cm – 5cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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