The genus Ludwigia includes multiple species with varying forms and growth conditions. They are adaptable to a wide variety of environments, ranging from exposed relatively dry terrain to entire deluges for months on end, owing to their huge geographical spread. Many are helpful in both aquaria and ponds. This is documented for each of the following species. The genus is believed to have 75 species, not all of which are cultivated. The majority of the species are indigenous to the warmer regions of the New World. There is a handful that is only found in Africa and Eurasia.
The following features are shared by all members of the genus:
- Leaves are usually alternately opposed, but seldom oppositely opposed.
- Flowers are yellow or white with 0-7 petals and 4-7 green persistent sepals. When the flower is finished, the petals fall off.
- Flowers may be solitary, axillary (kept near the stem on very short stalks or without stalks at all), or terminal clusters.
- Fruit is shaped like a cylindrical capsule. Each bloom produces a large number of seeds. In bigger species, this number may approach the thousands.
About the Species:
L. arcuata North Carolina to Florida is the native range. Perennial stems generate roots at all leaf nodes as they grow against the substrate. The leaves are tiny, barely about 12″ long and 1/8″ broad, and stemless. Flowers range in size from 12″ to 34″ broad.
Will grow in shallow water and may establish itself in the muck along the water’s edge, producing thick mats. Warm temperature is preferred; chilly winter weather is not tolerated. Will grow in any sandy or loamy soil, as well as over open water. Although it loves to be out of the water, it will grow submerged as an aquarium plant in strong light or as an oxygenator in a pond.
Peruvian lily. A woody perennial that may grow to be many feet tall. Flowers are quite enormous for the species, with a 1.5″ diameter flat disc of 5 brilliant yellow petals. Flowers are kept on 12-inch-long axillary stalks. Following them is a capsule holding hundreds of small, dust-like seeds. Capsules may be up to 1.5″ long.
The leaves are lanceolate, hairy, and up to 4″ long and 1″ broad. Frost resistant.
Palustris palustris Under aquariums, it develops thickets of roots, stalks, and shapely leaves that become pink or crimson in intense light. It may be used as an oxygenator or as a marginal bog plant in ponds. It may be used to cover pond margins or to grow in wet to semi-dry soil around the pond. It may grow in practically anyplace and can be found across the Northern Hemisphere.
The leaves are lanceolate to ovate in shape. They usually have undulating edges, particularly when submerged. Submerged leaves may be green, pink, or crimson depending on the amount of light they get and can develop to be well over an inch long under perfect circumstances. Will grow up to three feet deep in well-lit water. Emersed leaves are typically dark green with prominent veins. Sessile (stemless), axillary (occurring at the base of leaves or their stems, directly against the stem), and practically without petals, flowers are sessile (stemless). A short, thick seed capsule is topped by four small yellow petals.
Cuttings or seeds are used for propagation. The seeds are tiny and may sprout in any moist, sandy environment. Cuttings will root after a few days of being cut and develop rapidly after that.
Longifolia L. Primrose Weed. Graceful semi-woody stems reach a height of 5 feet. Longifolia gets its name from its long and slender leaves (3/8″ X 6-“). Flowers resemble those of L. peruensis but are cupped. These are simple to cultivate since they will grow in any soil and root wherever on their stem.
repens L This is a gorgeous and useful species that has grown in popularity in the hobby. Its tendency of crawling out over the water’s surface has kept it in many pond owners’ sights for many years. Of course, the fact that it produces a continuous abundance of brilliant yellow blooms throughout summer helps. Its ability to compete with algae also works to its advantage.
The leaves are dark green with visible veins. They are ovate to circular in shape and grow to be around 1″ in length by 34″ broad. Flowers are produced individually on short axillary stalks at the plant’s developing end. The seed capsule is about one inch long and contains numerous seeds.
L. peploides Eastern and southern North America are home to this species. L. repens in a considerably bigger size. Stems are tough, may grow to be many feet long, and eventually turn semi-woody. Flowers are nearly 2″ in diameter. The leaves may grow to be about 5 inches long “long, light to medium green, with visible veins Copius roots make it a powerful filter.
H. Hara Woody Ludwigia foliobracteolata – (Munz) Yellow flowers Large fruits (There is no match at CR.) Suffrutescent subshrubs up to 1 m tall, widespread in open areas beside the stream. The leaf’s midrib is elevated and paler above; the principal lateral veins are sunken above and prominulous below. Petals are brilliant yellow and prominently clawed. Herb, swampy meadow, to 1.5 m tall. Yellow flower.