Ease to Grow: Moderate to Challenging
Dormancy: Not required
Native Range: Southeast Australia
Zones: 6-10 (6-11)
The Red Waterwheel Plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa var. rubescens is a warm loving red-colored variety of the more typical green winter-tolerant form. It too is an aquatic, free-floating, rootless carnivorous plant of boggy waters. The rope like plant contains successive whorls of bristly traps. Each trap shaped like a small, wide-mouth clam. There are 4-9 traps per whorl, and each whorl is about 1/2" round, giving the plant a soft rope like appearance. Aldrovanda prefers warm, shallow (8-20"), peaty, dark tea-colored waters rich in tannins and low in nutrients. It grows best in the sunny partial cover amongst water lilies and other emergent plants. Red coloration expresses itself in the full heat and light of late Summer. Its pink and red flowers are small, and on short stalks in late summer. Seeds are rare. Reproduction is typically vegetative. It is a warm perennial, but can tolerate light freezing by forming turions (winter buds for aquatics). This variety is native to Darwin, Australia. Shipped as a small sprig in water. Sprigs grow rapidly in good conditions.
The genus is monotypic with only one species. Similar to the classification of the Venus Flytrap (1 genus, 1 species). Aldrovanda can be considered a living fossil, since it's lineage dates back to the Tertiary, tens of millions of years ago. Aldrovanda vesiculosa var. rubescens is a red form that occurs from Australia. Cultures may contain small amounts of other aquatic plants.
In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant turion. Photograph is representative of the variety and not the specific plant shipped. The red pigmentation requires bright light. Color may fade to green during the darkness in shipping and should return in a few days in good bright growing conditions.
Height: 1", Length: 2-10+"
Plant Type: Perennial, warm temperate to tropical
Soil: Peaty water, dark tea color
Light: Bright to partial bright indoors, full sun to dappled shade outdoors
Use: Grows well in the bog pool, greenhouse and indoors. Helps control mosquito larva.