Ludwigia sedoides (Humb. & Bonpl.) Hara
Mosaic Plant, Mosaic Flower, False Loosestrife
Bloom Time: Summer
Ludwigia sedoides is a floating leaf marginal aquatic perennial. Red and green diamond-shaped leaves in rounded clusters, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, float on the water surface. The stems are red. Flowers are yellow, cup-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appear in summer.
How to Grow and Care
This floating Ludwigia is native to Central and South America, where it can be found growing in stagnant waters as well as in sections of riverine environments that are free of the current. It is a very common pond plant in warm climates or ponds in conservatories. However, 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 macro- and micro-nutrients 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 the usefulness of this species in the aquascape is markedly limited, its beautiful circles of reddish foliage can lend a unique texture to outdoor ponds.
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