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A picture of a Cape Pond Lily

Cape Pond Lily

Aponogeton distachyos

Also known as

Cape Pondweed, Water Hawthorn, Water Hyacinth, Cape Asparagus, Hawthorn Scented Pondweed, Cape Hawthorn, Riverine Weed

Aponogeton distachyos 003 by H. Zell (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering
Frost Hardy

H4

RHS hardiness

-10°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

60cm

Max

3m

45cm

Min

20cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Cape Pond Lily

A close up of a Cape Pond lily plant, whose leaves are floating on the surface of a pond.
A close up of a Cape Pond lily plant, whose leaves are floating on the surface of a pond.
A close up of the green leaves of Cape Pond lily floating on the surface of water.

Cape Pond Lily Overview

The Cape pond weed is a deciduous or partially evergreen, perennial, aquatic flowering plant. It has long oval/egg-shaped or lance-shaped floating leaves and unbranched, small, edible, fragrant white flowers with purple anthers. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and spring. Bees are very attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators. It is adapted to growing in ponds and vleis which dry up in summer. The dormant tubers sprout again as soon as the pools fill in autumn. This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the Western Cape.

Common problems with Cape Pond Lily

Generally pest and disease free.

How to harvest Cape Pond Lily

Allow seedheads to dry on plants and then remove and collect seeds. Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds.

How to propagate Cape Pond Lily

Tubers

Plant new tubers in a pot with loam and place it in shallow water until the plants starts growing strong. The pot can then slowly be moved to deeper water in the sun. They seed themselves.

Division

Divide rhizomes in spring or sow seed when ripe.

Rhizomes

Seed

Special features of Cape Pond Lily

Attracts useful insects

Bees

Wet sites

It is adapted to growing in ponds and vleis which dry up in summer.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Cape Pond Lily

Culinary. Ornamental.

Edible

Flowers

Edible

White Flowering Summer Plants

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