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Rice and Taro are amongst the earliest water plants in cultivation. Around the world people cultivate edible aquatic plants, as well as aquatic animals including fish and crays. The farming of these is called aquaculture or aquafarming. Aquaponics intergrates both aquatic plant farming with the production of fish.


Sustainable gardens

This is a popular trend in gardens that strives to minimise our impacts on the environment, through the demands that we place on available water, as well as the materials and energy we use in the garden. Even small scale environmentally friendly gardens, that support the diverse nature around us, can play an important role in reducing the environmental impacts of large scale commercial food production.


 

Good to eat and good to look at....

Edible aquatic plants need not only be selected for their crop. At Oz Watergardens we focus on their ornamental appearance as well. Why not have edible aquatic plants that are both beautiful to look at, but also produce healthy food?


 

Edible aquatic plants are easy to grow

 

If you love growing your own healthy food, but have limited space, aquatic pots are just as easy to maintain as regular edible herbs. Just keep the water topped up.


 Miniature water gardens producing edible aquatic plants can be made in almost any container that can hold water, even a sealed window planter box. A bucket kept in a sunny position can produce a kilogram of water chestnuts in one growing season. If you have a little more space consider an old bath tub capable of producing 30-40kg of delicious water chestnuts in a single growing season.


 

Growing Mix

 

For most edible water garden production, we recommend using approximately 1/3 compost mixed with a clay- loam soil. However, for root -type or tuberous edible aquatic plants, we suggest a sandy-loam soil. Although the plants will grow successfully in other soils, we find that it is easier to wash off the sandy loam than a heavy clay soil.


 

Growing conditions for edible aquatic plants

 

Most edible aquatic plants come from tropical or sub-tropical climates. Many can be grown in cooler climates, but best results are achieved if you can grow them in warm sheltered positions.


 Do not grow edible aquatic plants using untreated grey water. Although they are often excellent water filtering plants, they may also absorb many heavy metals and toxins that may be harmful in your diet.


 

TIPS

  1. Below is a list of edible aquatic plants grown at Oz Watergardens. The plant list is divided into 5 Zones. For more information on the Oz Watergardens pond plant Zoning system go to our Zone Map.
  2. For information on the plant care and maintenance, go to our Tips & Hints page.

  

Please use our store locator to contact your nearest garden centre, to place an order.


 

Edible Aquatic Plants

Zone 1

 

Edible parts

Lemna minor

Duckweed

Leaves

Wolffia arhiza

Water Meal

Leaves

Pistia stratiotes (Not NSW, ACT)

Water Lettuce (VIC, TAS and SA only)

Leaves

Zone 2

 

 

Acorus gramineus

Sweet Flag

Rhizome

Colocasia esculenta

Taro / Elephant Ear

Corms and tubers, care must be taken to know the correct origins of the variety and the process of making them safe to eat.

Houttuynia cordata Variegated

Swamp Pepper

Leaves and roots

Lythrum salicaria

Purple Loosestrife

Young shoots and leaves

Mentha aquatica

Aquatic Mint

Leaves

Zone 3

 

 

Acorus calamus

Sweet Flag

Rhizome

Alisma plantago aquatica

Water Plantain

Roots

Bacopa caroliniana

Lemon Bacopa

Leaves

Bacopa monniera

Water Hyssop

Leaves and stems

Berula erecta

Water Celery

Leaves

Centella asiatica

Indian Pennywort

Leaves

Cyperus papyrus

Egyptian Papyrus

Rhizomes and young shoots

Lepironia articulata

Lepironia

Rhizomes

Nasturtium officinale

Water cress

Leaves and stems

Oenanthe 'Pink Flamingo'

Rainbow Parsley

Leaves and stems

Thalia geniculata

Red Thalia

Rhizomes and young leaves

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Arum Lily

Young leaves

Zone 4

 

 

Aponogeton distachyos

Water Hawthorn

Tuberous corms, leaves and flowers

Brassenia schreberi

Water Shield

Young shoots

Ceratophyllum demersum

Foxtail or Hornwort

Leaves and stems

Eleocharis dulcis

Chinese Water Chestnut

Tubers

Marsilea drummondii

Common Nardoo

Sporocarps - the pea-like fruiting structure

Marsilea mutica

Rainbow Nardoo

Sporocarps - the pea-like fruiting structure

Myriophyllum

Water Milfoil

Young shoots and leaves

Nymphoides indica

Water Snowflake

Young shoots and leaves

Orontium aquaticum

Golden Club

Roots and seeds

Pontederia cordata

Blue Pickerel Rush

Seeds and young leaf stalks

Triglochin procerum

Water Ribbons

Tubers

Typha latifolia

Cumbungi

Young rhizome tips and flower spikes

Vallisneria

Eel grass or ribbon grass

Leaves

Zone 5

 

 

Nelumbo

Lotus

Leaves, seeds and tubers

Nymphaea Tropical hybrids

Tropical Waterlilies

Rhizomes, leaves, young flower buds, and leaf stems

Nymphaea Hardy hybrids

Hardy Waterlilies

Rhizomes, leaves, young flower buds, and leaf stems

 

 



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