Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Leafy Patch of Pond Lettuce

When I was still keeping aquarium fishes and plants, I have already encountered the native pond lettuce, or Ottelia alismoides. It is one of a few entirely aquatic plants, which would be hard to establish emersed out of water. I was then considered one of the more experienced aquascapers but I have had problems keeping Ottelia in my own planted aquarium, even if most literature would say it is a fairly easy plant to cultivate.

Two years after I have dismantled my last aquarium I again found myself admiring the pond lettuce, this time at a public pond in NAPWC. The particular plants I saw were far from the lanky-leafed and translucent-bladed pathetic specimens I kept in my old aquariums. The two patches had numerous robust and crisp leaves. They were curled up like cups, arranged in an attractive rosette. White flowers and seed capsules were also present, signifying that the plants were indeed very much healthy. The healthy patch is big, which would prove too Ottelia to big to keep even in the biggest house aquarium. It would be better kept in a spacious pond which would allow a lot of surface viewing.


ari said...

Hi Patrick ! Great unique blog ! I have two questions really: I was wondering about fragrant flowering trees in the Philippines and was wondering if you had a list i could refer to. And if you've ever been to Paco Park in Ermita at sunset, there is this fragrant tree that I presumed to be dama de noche, but was told that it was anislag - I was wondering if you've ever come across this. Thanks much

metscaper said...

Hi. Just saw your comment. there was once a book on flowering plants in the Philippines. I can't find my copy so I can't remeber the author. But it cites plants that are mostly non-native. Will visit Paco Park to see the tree you mentioned.