Explore the Garden

New Aquatic Plantings Arrive!

Monday, July 17, 2017
by Julie Radomski | Student Director of Branding and Horticulture

After a month of extensive research and planning, an enhanced ecosystem is emerging in our pond! New plantings are creating a lush aquatic ecosystem, expanding on the success of our Biofiler installation. A number of exciting new plants have arrived – we hope you’ll visit soon to see for yourself, but below are some of our favorites.

The first type of new aquatic plant introduced are oxygenators; specifically Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) and Marsh Mermaidweed (Proserpinaca palustris). These plants are fully submerged in the water and give off oxygen during the day and take in oxygen at night. This helps combat ammonia poisoning of our popular Koi fish, while also filtering the water. In addition, these plants make tasty treats for our koi! Unfortunately, after deciding to uproot every one of them, they instead found the water lilies a better snack to munch on...

New tropical water lilies have arrived, including the infamous giant Victoria Water Lily and a beautiful color shifting Blink Water Lily. I specifically chose the ‘Longwood’ of the Victoria Lily (a cross between V. cruziana x V. amazonica) since it is slightly smaller than the usual Victoria and a little more hardy.

New hardy water lilies include Violicious, Gyspsy and Wanvisa. The Violicious (a hybrid by Mike Giles) is a beautiful lily with a purple hue. Gypsy (Nymphaea x 'Gypsy') is a variegated pad water lily with deep pink flowers. The Wanvisa (Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’) is also a variegated pad water lily but with stunning peachy apricot colored blooms.

The shallow water plants around the edges of the pond include, but aren’t limited to, Tropical Pink Sunburst Canna (native to South Africa), Red Thalia (Thalia geniculata), Pickerel Cordata (Pontederia cordata), Cotton Grass (Eriophorum angustifolium) and Black Madras Dwarf Rice (Oryza sativa).

With help from our fabulous garden volunteers, we were able to plant each of the 40+ plants into fabric pots in about 2 hours.

This new collection of plants is a wonderful expansion of our aquatic collection. As all gardening is, the process has had it’s fair share of trials and errors, but it’s been meaningful all the same. I look forward to conitinuing to care for the plants and Koi, supplementing the project through additional research and hands on experience as things grow and mature!

Tags: UW Students

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Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706
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