Marginal Plants for the Pond II

Hippuris vulgaris – Mare’s Tail is a delightful marginal plant which has the appearance of a tiny grove of miniature conifer trees poking through the surface of the water. The flowers (borne June to July) are inconspicuous but this plant can be an effective oxygenator when grown in deeper water. Often found in mudflats in the wild. Grows 6-12″ high. Water depth to crown 6-12″. Zone 4.

Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus – Bloody Dock or Ornamental Sorrel makes a great foliage plant in the pond with its large green leaves prominently veined in blood red or purple. The star-shaped flowers are insignificant and should be clipped off in order to divert energy to the foliage. The young leaves of this plant are edible. Grows 12-15″ high by 8-12″ wide. Water depth 0-1″. Zone 5.

Cyperus haspen ‘Viviparous’ – This miniature Papyrus has slightly arching stems that support airy green umbels which are about 2-3″ across in size. It is a tender plant that prefers a full sun exposure and is a good feature for water bowls. The stems also make excellent long-lasting greens in flower arrangements. Grows 12-18″ high by 30-45″ wide. Water depth 1-4″. Zone 9.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ (syn. ‘Variegata’, ‘Tricolour’) – This cultivar has brilliant foliage of green heart-shaped leaves with irregular splashes of rose-red, yellow and cream. It bears sporadic white flowers from July to August. The leaves have an orange-cilantro scent and are used in Vietnamese cooking. Very invasive in ground. Grows 6-12″ high. Water depth 0-2″. Zone 5.

Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ – This Dwarf Golden Sweet Flag is reliably evergreen in coastal BC but in other regions you can simply trim off browned or damaged tips after winter. It has 1/4″ wide leaf blades of green, striped prominently with yellow and forms a symmetrical clump which may hollow out over time. Grows 8-14″ high by 12″ wide. Water depth 0-2″. Zone 5.

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