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Aldrovanda - Waterwheel Plants

GENUS: Aldrovanda

A monotypic genus, containing a single aquatic species producing Dionaea-like traps 2-8mm long in whorls around a central stem. Widely but sparsely distributed across Europe, Asia including Japan, and Australia. The genus once contained several spp., but all others are now extinct, and A. vesiculosa is endangered through much of its present range.

SPECIES: A. vesiculosa - Common Name: Waterwheel Plant - Distribution: Europe, Asia, Australia

A lovely, miniature, aquatic Dionaea that has a reputation for fussiness. Certainly it demands clean, well oxygenated algae-free water and good light, but given these conditions it will grow and multiply quickly, and may even flower, though seed is rare, and rarer still is it viable. In cooler climates it will form resting buds (turions,) like the temperate aquatic Utricularia to overwinter, but if kept warm through the winter will continue to grow unabated. Appreciates companion planting of Typha, Acorus, Juncus, and similar marginals. This species requires clean rainwater infused with peat, or we can recommend regular use of Blackwater Extract. Keep warm and well lit and algae-free- this is critically important, as algae will smother and kill the plant in a matter of days in warm, bright conditions. It pays therefore to stabilise a suitable habitat before acquiring this sp. A fine line can be drawn where the water is too acidic for algae, but ideal for Aldrovanda, and this is what you should aim for, so use plenty of peat/blackwater extract.

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