- Position: full sun
- Depth of water: 30 - 90cm
- Rate of growth: average
- Ultimate spread: 70 - 90cm
- Height above surface: 0-10cm (0-4in)
- Flowering period: March to July and September to December
- Hardiness: frost hardy (may need protection in winter)
Originating in South Africa, this exotic-looking aquatic will usually flower twice a year. It has a summer dormancy, so is perfect for pairing with water lilies, which can take centre-stage while this one is catching its breath. After emerging from its summer dormancy, it produces lots of paddle-like foliage and beautiful white blooms, which usually remain right up until the first frosts. In early spring it will usually start up again, giving another couple of months of colour. The flowers are edible and are said to be a delicacy in Germany where they sell them in tins. It will tolerate a little light shade, but for the best performance it should be planted out in full sun. Please note that the leaves and flowers may be damaged in transit, however the bulb is very robust, so (provided it is not in its summer dormancy) it will put on new growth quite quickly after being planted out.
- Garden care: Plant firmly in an aquatic planting basket filled with aquatic compost. Apply a 2.5cm (1in) top-dressing of pea shingle or gravel to prevent the top layer of the planting medium from clouding the water. The crown of the plant should protrude slightly above the surface of the planting basket. Raise the basket on bricks when the plant is young, gradually lowering them as the plant matures, so that the leaves float on the surface.
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