Aquatic life

Water Dropwort

There is a whole family of water dropworts. These are interesting plants in their own right and spme of them make excellent pond plants: indeed I have seen a variegated water dropwort being sold commercially. Some of the water dropworts propagate by falling over: see water plant propagation.

Clapham, Tutin and Warburg list the following:

The Water Dropworts are all said to be poisonous. Hemlock Water Dropwort in particular is said to be about the most poisonous British plant. However Hemlock Water Dropwort does get browsed by animals so it may not be as has as is claimed, although it is the roots which are the most dangerous - they have proved lethal to cattle.

The photo shows a group of Oenanthe fistulosa Tubular Water Dropwort in my pond, where they are a striking plant, The foliage is pretty, they thrive but are not invasive and they have a pretty white flower later in the year (July to September). Its name derives from the fact that its stems are hollow. It grows to about 50cm and, as it is a thin-stemmed plant, then tends to fall sideways - when roots form at the top nodes and the plant shoots up vertically again. It is also stoloniferous - sending out root like 'stolons' which form new plants as they progress.

TubDropWort/jpeg

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Page first published 9th May 2006
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