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Heteranthera Reniformis - Floating Plantain

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Heteranthera Reniformis - Floating Plantain

 

Heteranthera Reniformis is also known as Floating Plantain or Kidney-Leaf Mud Plantain. It grows in wetland areas such as freshwater mudflats, marshes, and riverbeds where the water is up to 8 inches deep. The plants grow to be about 15 inches tall and can float on water or attach themselves to the mud just below the water’s surface. They are identified by the kidney-shaped or heart-shaped leaves, which are shiny, dark green and up to 2 ½ inches wide.

The flowers grow on stems 3 to 4 inches long with 2 to 8 flowers per stem. Flowers are white to light blue with petals from 8 to 16 mm long. The flowers have six petals with two oval-shaped yellow anthers and one light green anther, which is the part of the stamen that contains the pollen. Blooms appear a couple of hours after sunrise and wilt by the afternoon. They bloom in the late spring and fall except in tropical areas where blooms can occur year round. Hereanthera reniformis is found in the United States as far south as Florida and as far north as Connecticut, staying mainly in the east and Midwest. It has been exposed as far west as Texas and Colorado.

The plants grow best in full sunlight away from tall grasses and other vegetation that can block the sun. The seeds form in capsules on the stems that are a little under 1 cm long. Most propagation takes place not from seed, but from pieces of stems that contain nodes which can take root. Distribution is the fastest way to propagate new plants. The seeds can exist in the soil for many years before taking root.

Hereanthera Reniformis grows well in contained water gardens and small ponds. Since it can grow as a floating plant, the soil is not required. However, it will need to be fed a diluted fish fertilizer occasionally.

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