Aldrovanda vesiculosa


Aldrovanda vesiculosa

Ease to Grow: Moderate to Challenging.
Dormancy: Recommended.
Native Range: Peaty Wetlands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Zones: 5-9 (4-10).

The Waterwheel Plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa 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 lillies and other emergent plants. The white flowers are small, and on short stalks in late summer. Seeds are rare. Reproduction is typically vegetative. It is a perennial and survives freezing by forming turions (winter buds for aquatics). This variety is native to Japan and is winter hardy. Shipped as a small sprig (or turion in cold weather) in water. Sprigs grow rapidly in good conditions.

The genus is monotypic with only one species.  Similiar to the classification of the Venus Flytrap (1 genus, 1 species). Aldrovanda can be considered a living fossil, since its lineage dates back to the Tertiary, tens of millions of years ago. Aldrovanda vesiculosa var. rubescens is a red form that occurs from Australia, and single locations in Botswana and Hungary.  Cultures may contain small amounts of other aquatic plants.

Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped. In it's dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant turion.

Height: 1", Length: 2-10+".
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate.
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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Brobson Lutz
Stingy on the plant size

Needed plants for an outside pond. What arrived were microscopic strands. Maybe what aquarium folks want but wish the website has specified what a small amount of plant material would be sent for a sorta hefty price too. Brobson Lutz, New Orleans

brian p.
bought plants

plants arrived complete with cute little tadpoles!!! seller responded quickly to inquiry about my order by email. very well packaged.


I bought two sprigs/turions and received three! This is my first time growing them, so I'm in the process of testing a variety of environments, and having more is better for that! They're all still alive a few weeks later, and the one that isn't still dormant is growing like mad and eating all the daphnia. I'm absolutely falling in love with this plant.

Daniel Gutzmer
Water wheel plant

I purchased 3 turions, and it sprouted and is doing fine, living off of copepods and live daphnia , I hope to make it a massive plant and to keep feeding it. In the photo its kinda hard to see due to the light but its doing well, though there are snails and aquatic isopods in there too, hoping they are just another food source aswell for the lovely plant.

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