Ease to Grow: Moderate to Challenging.
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.
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.