W A T E R P L A N T S
Florida, due to it's low general elevation, is awash with water. While less fortunate locations are dependent on artificial irrigation, those living on former swamps or next to bodies of water should rejoice in their free water. Planting generously in wet areas moderates flooding, prevents erosion and most importantly, purifies water for future generations.
Most Palms are blessed with the trait of the more water they recive, the bigger and faster they grow. Many plams even thrive planted in or near water. More water lovers not listed below are Chinese Weeping Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis), Florida Royal Palm (Roystonea elata), Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractum), Piccabeen Palm (Archonotophoenix cunninghamiana), Senegal Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata).
PAUROTIS PALM Acoelorrhaphe wrightii
This is native to our Everglades and natually grows in water and actually refuses to grow without copious amounts. This clumping Palm sports cheerful fan leaves and when mature, never seems to be seen without it's ornamental boughs of orange fruits and flowers. Once a source of water is provided, absolutely no special care is needed.
MAJESTY PALM Ravena rivelaris
This palm has received somewhat of a bad name, because it is mass-marketed as a house plant, usually resulting in it's merciless death. Planted outside, it lives, but seems to grow anemic and yellow. However, once planted next to a source of constant water, this palm reaches majestic trunk and foilage porpotions and fast growth rates, much deserving of it's common name.
COLOCASIA Colocasia esculanta hybrids
This close relative of our weedy Elephant Ear is a bog lover, thriving in or near water. There is a plethora of hybrids which display it's trademark purple to black foilage in many forms and patterns. When grown as a mass, as it should, it remains problem free and serves as an excellent dark background for other plants, especially those with light and variegated foliage.
WATERLILIES Nymphea hybrids
Here is the motherlode of all aquatic plants. The ornamental foilage and spectacular flowers are matched by no other plant, including thier calming effect on the human soul. Waterlilies are available as Temperate or Tropical, we recommend the latter because of their huge scented blossoms and often tastefully variegated foilage. Among the tropicals, there are both day and night blooming varieties, so planting a few of each will assure your water garden will be in bloom around the clock.
PICKEREL WEED Pontederia cordata
This blue flowering water plant is a native to Southeastern American waterways. The Blossoms are held above the graceful arum-like foilage during the warm months of the year. Excellent for naturalization, benefits wildlife and is efficient at cleansing water.
TROPICANA CANNA Canna cultivar
A recent introduction, Tropicanas far surpass the attractiveness of the common green form of Cannas. Thriving in any well-irrigated area, the foilage seems aflame with color, no longer solely reying on it's flowers for show. Tropicanas are best treated as perennials in our area, after the leaves decline with the onset of cool weather, they can be cut to the ground, where they spend their dormancy until the vigorous shoots reappear in March. If grown in or near water, they usually stay in leaf all year.
FLORIDA LEATHER FERN Acrostichum danaeifolium
This fern with monsterous proportions are found in old-growth swamps in Florida, the individual fronds may reach up to ten feet long! When bearing spores, the undersides of the huge, thick fronds develop a beautiful russet hue, adding color. Hosting these Ferns on your property will impart a prehistoric feel; Dinosaurs should be lurking just around the bend. Unlike most Ferns, they thrive in full sun, providing they are rooted in water or wet soil.
BLUE FLAG Iris virginica
This charming Iris is one of seven native to Florida wetlands and performs well in the home landscape. While Irises from around the globe can be showier, they tend to fail in our hot, humid climate, hence we recommend this beauty. Colors range from white, blue to purple.
There are many ornamental plants which have been introduced to Florida with good intention, but with disasterous results. They choke or waterways and dispel native wildlife. Among the worst offenders are Papyrus species, Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinth; please refrain from growing these. Thanks!