What are the marsh plants suitable to be grown directly in the water of natural or artificial reservoirs or along the banks of streams and rivers? How and when to implant them? How to take care of and protect them during the winter?
General characteristics of marsh plants
The marsh plants, hydrophytes or macrophytes, are all those plants that have structures suitable for surviving in aquatic environments, in particularly humid or water-saturated soils such as the banks of waterways, the edges of lakes or ponds.
Hydrophytic plants can be submerged, emerging or floating: emerging hydrophytes and those submerged in calm and unpolluted waters are always rooted in compact, neutral and nutrient-rich soil; floating hydrophytes, on the other hand, can be implanted in the substrate or freely float on the surface of the water.
In nature there are several species of small, medium and large spontaneous and non-spontaneous marsh plants, which can be cultivated on the edges of ponds, lakes and streams, many types of plants grow in shallow water even in simply very humid soils of gardens in areas where other plants do not find their favorable environment.
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List of some decorative designed and easy to grow marsh plants.
Iris of water or Iris of water
An ornamental plant of great value with decorative fan leaves green and streaked with cream with yellow or lavender flowers, perfect for making borders with artificial and natural basins / tubs, ponds and ponds). It is a marginal plant suitable for cultivation in muddy soils rich in organic matter. It has rhizomatous roots which tend to emit lateral ramifications and in a short time they extend giving life to thick green bushes. It is usually planted in spring.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Iris.
Caltha palustris – Swamp calta
A marsh plant commonly called Farferugine, it is a marginal plant with a compact habit. The rhizomatous root has swollen and fleshy appendages that generate erect, glabrous, tubular stems with an erect bearing, sometimes sloping or climbing. The leaves are leathery, shiny, hairless and green in color. The flowers, carried on the apexes of the stems, resemble small buttercups and have a corolla generally composed of 5-8 petals (sometimes even 13) bright yellow in color that form a crown to a large central button formed by numerous stamens and spiraled pistils also yellow in color. It blooms in spring, between March-April.
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Information and photos in our dedicated article: Caltha palustris.
Calamus or Acorus calamus
The aromatic calamus is a semi-evergreen perennial aquatic plant, which in full vegetative development forms a bush about 1 meter high and 60 cm wide. The plant has a robust and fleshy rhizomatous root that tends to emit numerous creeping lateral branches. The leaves they are bright green in color and if they are rubbed between the fingers they give off a pleasant lemon aroma. In late spring it produces flowers that are actually yellow-gold or green-gold spadix inflorescences. This plant is also called Canna odorosa.
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Information and photos in our dedicated article: Aromatic calamus.
A spontaneous marsh species that in full vegetative development gives life to thick bushes of bright green leaves. During the flowering period, among the thick bushes of leaves, numerous spadix-like inflorescences peep out formed by white spathe very similar to those of the calla zantedeschia or those of the Spathiphyllum that envelop a central conical yellow-greenish heart. Spades are generally produced after the third or fourth year after planting.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Calla palustris.
Also called marsh wort, it is a plant that in full vegetative development forms very decorative and elegant bushes, up to 2 meters high and more than 60 cm wide. It is provided with a large fleshy rhizomatous root that generates thick tufts of rigid and erect stems covered with large decorative leaves that recall Sterlizia cultivation for structure and size those of the Sterlizia or those of the Canna indica. The leaves are green, have an ovate-lanceolate shape, pointed apexes and smooth margins.
The flowers are gathered in showy and long spiked inflorescences that bloom on the tops of long and rigid stems. Each inflorescence is formed by flowers with pink-violet or blue-violet petals wrapped in stiff and leathery gray spadixes.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Thalia dealbata.
Known as the water plane tree, it is a herbaceous perennial plant, native to Europe and Asia, which forms tufts of lanceolate-elliptical green leaves. carried by they are thin up to 45-50 cm tall, and throughout the summer they carry numerous inflorescences consisting of small three-petalled flowers, of a pink color with a yellow throat. The flowers are followed by the fruits, floating achenes containing the seeds that are dispersed very easily through the wind. Baldellia.
Orontium – Marsh plant
A marsh plant that grows in shallow ponds, streams and lakes. It prefers an acidic environment. The leaves are pointed and oval with a water-repellent surface. The inflorescence is particularly known for having an extremely small, almost indistinguishable sheath surrounding the spadix. Very early in flowering this green sheath withers leaving only the spadix. The flowering of the Orontium occurs in spring. Native Americans once ate the seeds and rhizome by drying them and grinding them into a starchy substance.
Carex is a herbaceous plant with a robust and deep rhizomatous root with bundles of secondary or creeping adventitious roots. The main root as it grows tends to become stoloniferous and also propagates on the surface of the soil giving life to new plants. The aerial part develops giving life to dense herbaceous bushes with an elegant bearing that over time tend to carpet large areas. The leaves are lanceolate-ribbon-like, with entire margins but very sharp due to the high content of silica. They are bright green in color and when erect when they are still tender shoots, gradually growing, they take on an arched posture. In areas with a very harsh winter climate, the leaves dry up but are thrown back when the plant awakens from vegetative rest.
The flowers, small and dark, collected in spike or star inflorescences (depending on the species) are carried on the tops of erect stems with a triangular section of green or yellowish green color.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Carice – Carex.
Mimulus – Mimulus
A plant is one rhizomatous root with various fairly developed adventitious roots. The aerial part, on the other hand, is formed by slender and erect quadrangular section stems with more or less concave faces. The stems are covered with a thin and soft – fur.
The leaves they are arranged along the stems in pairs and in the opposite way are rotated by about 90 ° with respect to those below. The shape of the lamina or leaf page is oval-lanceolate with a truncated base, pointed apex and toothed margins. THE flowers large and showy, similar to those of snapdragons, have a pedunculate shape, they blossom solitary between the axils of the upper leaves and their color is varied: yellow-copper, yellow with brown or crimson-brown, orange and pink spots.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Mimolo – Mimulus.
Commonly called marsh potato, Sagittaria is an aquatic plant with characteristic edible stoloniferous rhizomatous roots used like common potatoes in various recipes. It is a herbaceous perennial, which grows in water from 10 to 50 cm high. It has lightning bolt-shaped leaves and flowers are 2 to 2.5 cm wide, with three small sepals, three white petals and several purple stamens.
The Alisma plant is a herbaceous and perennial plant with a robust rhizomatous root with various secondary or adventitious roots that generates thick tufts composed of numerous leaves that on average reach 40 cm in height. At the end of the vegetative cycle, the leaves wither and dry up and then reappear strongly luxuriantly in the following spring.
The leaves are very characteristic and of two types: the basal ones and submerged in the water are ribbon-like-lanceolate with various parallelinervie ribs while those that come out of the water, supported by a long small one tending to greenish-reddish, are elliptical-ovoid with a large and glossy dark green completely hairless.
During the flowering period, green, erect, cylindrical stems, about 1 meter high, bearing the inflorescences composed of small white or pale purple flowers sprout from the center of the clump of leaves.
THE flowers they are composed of three green sepals and 3 petals with rounded margins that form a crown to six very thin stamens.
Information and photos in our dedicated article: Alisma.
The Cattail is a perennial marsh plant with a bushy habit provided with a robust geophytic and stoloniferous rhizomatous root from which numerous cylindrical and erect stems originate which in a short time exceed 2 meters in height. In winter, the superficial part of the plant dries up and then reappears from the rhizome in the following spring. The sword-shaped leaves are greyish-green in color with smooth, sharp edges. The flowers or rather the …