Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
and water gardening
NB: Equipment such as pumps, filters, pond liners, preformed ponds, waterfalls, fountains etc are covered on the Water Features page.
This page will cover water plants, marginal pond plants and products such as specialised planting pots and baskets for aquatic plants, fertilisers and water treatments (e.g to control algae, mosquitoes or pH of water).
Natural cleansers inspire lake restoration
Floating islands formed from recycled plastic and planted with papyrus are being deployed to clean the waters of Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Papyrus once grew naturally around the lake, but has been lost to human settlement and the actions of livestock. The artificial islands will be anchored in the Malewa River to catch silt before it enters the lake. The plants should also support a variety of wildlife both above and below the waterline. The region's booming commercial cut flower industry is helping to fund such initiatives. Source: Novel plastic-and-papyrus restoration project (September 2012)Older news at bottom of page.
Where to buy water plants or accessories
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If you have a nursery operation selling aquatic plants or bog plants suitable for pools, ponds, barrels, dams, bog gardens etc in Qld, and you're either located in Queensland or supply plants to this region, please get in touch about listing on this page. These plants include waterlillies and lotus, as well as marginal (bog) plants. Also suppliers of fertilisers, special pots, barley straw, algae control products, mosquito control products etc associated with growing such plants may advertise on this page.
More InformationSome water plants are serious environmental weeds, or have the potential to become so. It may be illegal to grow certain plants in your locality. If in doubt, consult with relevant authorities. Only buy from reputable nurseries in your area.
Always make sure that your pond plants cannot reach waterways (e.g. through overflow in heavy rain). Of course, gardeners should always try to prevent any plants escaping from their gardens.
Other Information Online
Please note: The following links are for general information. Some species or cultivars referred to in links may be unavailable in Australia, or illegal to grow in your area.
More links about designing ponds for frogs here: Wildlife
Pools 'n' Plants The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Queensland Inc. (SPASA)
Water & Environment Includes "How to create your own wetland". Ipswich City Council/Ipswich Water (PDF)
The Australian Aquatic Garden Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)
Reducing the water weed risk (Discusses the role of the nursery industry) Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (PDF)
Guidelines for garden ponds Department of Agriculture Western Australia
Wetlands not Weedlands Department of Agriculture Western Australia
www.fishforum.com.au Australian Aquarium Forum with a subforum for ponds
Blue-green algae Department of Agriculture Western Australia
Victoria Adventure Information about pond plants and water gardening, featuring the giant-leaved Victoria species. Site based in Florida, USA
Water Gardening in Texas Texas A&M University, USA
Water Gardens: Installation and Maintenance University of Georgia, USA
Colorado Water Garden Society Lots of information to explore in their "Pool of knowledge"
Understanding Aquascaping University of Florida (PDF)
Water Gardening In Hawai'i at the Hawaii Gardening blog
Mike's Tropical Pond Page includes a virtual tour of Balinese ponds
From the Pondlady's Pad Informative blog by a pond expert based in New Orleans
Control of algae with barley straw Centre for Aquatic Plant Management, UK (PDF)
Aquatic Plant Photos Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Barbados
Water Gardens: Installation and Maintenance University of Georgia
Growing water lilies in the tropics Green Culture Singapore
Native Water Lily Nymphaea violacea At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Hybrid Water Lily Nymphaea hybrids. At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Yellow Water Nymphaea mexicana (Invasive) At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Surrey W.L. Jacobs and C. Barre Hellquist (2011) New species, possible hybrids and intergrades in Australian Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae) with a key to all species Telopea (Journal of plant systematics)(PDF)
Three new species of Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae) in Australia Telopea (Journal of plant systematics) (PDF)
Nymphaea odorata Fragrant Water Lily Univ Florida
Wavy Marshwort (Nymphoides crenata) At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Evidence for the hybrid origin of Nymphoides montana Aston (Menyanthaceae) Telopea (Journal of plant systematics)(PDF)
Water Milfoil Myriophyllum papillosum At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Upright Water Milfoil Myriophyllum crispatum At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Banded Nardoo Marsilea mutica Aquatic Plants At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Marsilea drummondii (PDF) at the Australian Weeds and Livestock website, NSW (discusses toxicity of weeds and other plants to animals)
Parrot Feather At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Umbrella Sedge Cyperus involucratus (Invasive) At "Grow Me Instead" Australia
Nelumbo nucifera Ecocrop database, Food and Agriculture Organization
Growing Lotus From Seed A gardener presents an illustrated account of her experience
The Auburn University Lotus Project Nelumbo nucifera (Sacred lotus) and Nelumbo lutea (American lotus)
Native lotus an aggressive aquatic Discusses the American native, Nelumbo lutea. Chicago Botanic Garden, USA
Thalia geniculata Save Our Waterways Now, Brisbane
Thalia geniculata Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plants, Florida
Alligator-Flag Thalia geniculata. Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Thalia dealbata Missouri Botanical Garden
Acorus gramineus 'variegatus' - Miniature Sweet Flag University of Oklahoma
Hibiscus coccineus, Swamp Hibiscus The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Windmill aerating system an Australian 'first' How wind-power is improving water quality of a Redland Bay pond. Redland Shire Council (PDF)
Attract birds to garden with water Extension Service Garden Hints, Oregon State University
The World's Smallest Flowering Plant Short illustrated article about Wolffia in Florida State Horticultural Society Newsletter, February 2011 (PDF)
Possible misspellings: Bali straw (Barley Straw).
Older NewsSalvinia inspires engineers
In another example of plant design inspiring industrial advance, the aquatic weed Salvinia has helped engineers develop a new plastic coating. The leaf is covered with specialised hairs which help the leaf cling to the water's surface (aiding stability) while at the same time trapping air to assist buoyancy. Mimicking this arrangement has led to a coating that could be developed for use on watercraft with similar effect. Learn more at the Ohio State University website: Plant with "eggbeater" texture inspires waterproof coating (November 2011)
Help for Bli Bli pond
Refurbishments to improve water flow and deter nesting ibis and egrets will help address stagnation and algal blooms problems in Bli Bli pond. Sedimentation, bird waste and inadequate flushing have contributed to the poor health of the pond, which was created 50 years ago. Paperbark trees have also suffered, due to the water level being consistently too high.Council to nurse Bli Bli pond back to health. (July 2010)
Tiny waterlilly rescued
The work of botanic gardens has saved a rare waterlily, thought to be the world's smallest, from probable extinction. After its discovery in Rwanda in 1985, specimens were kept alive in botanic gardens in Germany. All attempts to reproduce the plants from seed and grow to maturity like other waterlillies were unsuccessful until a horticulturist at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew discovered the key. By more closely matching the damp edges of the freshwater hot spring from which they came, the plants have flowered and set seed in cultivation at last. Nymphaea thermarum has only been found in one location, and since its discovery all known wild plants have been lost due over-use of the water source. More at the Kew website: Smallest waterlily in the world brought back from the brink of extinction at Kew Gardens (May 2010)
Aquatic plant family's secret revealed
An international team of scientists have discovered that the aquatic plant family Hydatellaceae, many of which occur in Australia, are more closely related to waterlillies than they are to grasses. While the leaves are grass-like and the flower parts also much reduced, new research into pollen, seeds and germination have indicated that the evolutionary history of this family may be quite different than previously believed. Read more here: New-found relatives among the waterlillies