Cape pond weed


Cape pond weed

Aponogeton distachyos

Scientific name

This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the western Cape. Cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae) it makes a delicious stew.

Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and spring. Large areas of water in the Western Cape are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers.

Propagation instructions

By seed

The seed of Aponogeton germinates freely on the water surface. The young seedlings can be collected and grown on. They will reach flowering size in one season given ideal conditions. Dormant tubers are sometimes available from plant nurseries in the Cape.

By cutting

Divide the clumps of tubers in summer. Plant new tubers in a pot with loam and place it in shallow water until the plants starts growing strong. The pot can then slowly be moved to deeper water in the sun. Plants can also be planted directly into the pond. Waterblommetjies are vigorous growers that will seed themselves, and in some areas might even need to be controlled.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Hedwig Storch

Can you help grow this species?

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Fast-growing

Fragrant

Edible

Easy to grow

Suitable for wet sites

It provides food for:

Honeybees/flies

Aponogeton distachyos is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos

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