Ludwigia adscendens (L.) H.Hara
Water Primrose, Water Dragon, Marshy Jasmine
Jussiaea adscendens, Jussiaea repens
Bloom Time: Late spring to early fall
Ludwigia adscendens is a perennial floating herb with white spongy buoys. It can float on the water surface and creep over the wetlands' surface. Leaves are simple with elliptic blades, up to 3.8 inches (7 cm) long and 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. Its petioles are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. The cream flowers emerge singly at axils, and each has five sepals, five petals, and ten stamens.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
This floating Ludwigia is native to Central and South America, where it grows in stagnant waters and sections of riverine environments free of the current. It is a very common pond plant in warm climates or ponds in conservatories. Cultivation in an aquarium is a bit more complicated.
Above all else, this floating stem plant requires light. Even values in the higher range of what is possible over a planted aquarium are often not enough. Outdoor culture in a well-lit pond or tub is sometimes the only way to achieve satisfactory growth with this species. Heavy fertilization with macronutrients and micronutrients is essential (if enough light is available) to produce attractive growth. Yellow flowers form on the floating rosettes if the plant achieves good growth.
Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10. In St. Louis, grow as an annual in containers covered with 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) of water in full sun to part shade. Plants can be difficult to overwinter indoors.
Although this species' usefulness in the aquascape is markedly limited, its beautiful circles of reddish foliage can lend a unique texture to outdoor ponds.
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