Edible Aquatic Plants

Rice and Taro are amongst the earliest water plants in cultivation. Around the world people cultivate edible aquatic plants, as well as aquatic animals including fish and crays. The farming of these is called aquaculture or aquafarming. Aquaponics intergrates both aquatic plant farming with the production of fish.

Sustainable gardens

This is a popular trend in gardens that strives to minimise our impacts on the environment, through the demands that we place on available water, as well as the materials and energy we use in the garden. Even small scale environmentally friendly gardens, that support the diverse nature around us, can play an important role in reducing the environmental impacts of large scale commercial food production.

Good to eat and good to look at....

Edible aquatic plants need not only be selected for their crop. At Oz Watergardens we focus on their ornamental appearance as well. Why not have edible aquatic plants that are both beautiful to look at, but also produce healthy food?

Growing mix

For most edible water garden production, we recommend using approximately 1/3 compost mixed with a clay- loam soil. However, for root -type or tuberous edible aquatic plants, we suggest a sandy-loam soil. Although the plants will grow successfully in other soils, we find that it is easier to wash off the sandy loam than a heavy clay soil.

Edible aquatic plants are easy to grow

If you love growing your own healthy food, but have limited space, aquatic pots are just as easy to maintain as regular edible herbs. Just keep the water topped up.

Miniature water gardens producing edible aquatic plants can be made in almost any container that can hold water, even a sealed window planter box. A bucket kept in a sunny position can produce a kilogram of water chestnuts in one growing season. If you have a little more space consider an old bath tub capable of producing 30-40kg of delicious water chestnuts in a single growing season.

Growing conditions for edible aquatic plants

Most edible aquatic plants come from tropical or sub-tropical climates. Many can be grown in cooler climates, but best results are achieved if you can grow them in warm sheltered positions.

Do not grow edible aquatic plants using untreated grey water. Although they are often excellent water filtering plants, they may also absorb many heavy metals and toxins that may be harmful in your diet.

Tips

  1. Below is a list of edible aquatic plants grown at Oz Watergardens. The plant list is divided into 5 Zones. For more information on the Oz Watergardens pond plant Zoning system go to our Zone Map.
  2. For information on the plant care and maintenance, go to our Tips & Hints page.

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Edible Aquatic Plants collection

Zone 1 Edible parts
Lemna minor Duckweed Leaves
Wolffia arhiza Water Meal Leaves
Pistia stratiotes (Not NSW, ACT) Water Lettuce (VIC, TAS and SA only) Leaves
Zone 2
Acorus gramineus Sweet Flag Rhizome
Colocasia esculenta Taro / Elephant Ear Corms and tubers, care must be taken to know the correct origins of the variety and the process of making them safe to eat.
Houttuynia cordata Variegated Swamp Pepper Leaves and roots
Lythrum salicaria Purple Loosestrife Young shoots and leaves
Mentha aquatica Aquatic Mint Leaves
Zone 3
Acorus calamus Sweet Flag Rhizome
Alisma plantago aquatica Water Plantain Roots
Bacopa caroliniana Lemon Bacopa Leaves
Bacopa monniera Water Hyssop Leaves and stems
Berula erecta Water Celery Leaves
Centella asiatica Indian Pennywort Leaves
Cyperus papyrus Egyptian Papyrus Rhizomes and young shoots
Lepironia articulata Lepironia Rhizomes
Nasturtium officinale Water cress Leaves and stems
Oenanthe 'Pink Flamingo' Rainbow Parsley Leaves and stems
Thalia geniculata Red Thalia Rhizomes and young leaves
Zantedeschia aethiopica Arum Lily Young leaves
Zone 4
Aponogeton distachyos Water Hawthorn Tuberous corms, leaves and flowers
Brassenia schreberi Water Shield Young shoots
Ceratophyllum demersum Foxtail or Hornwort Leaves and stems
Eleocharis dulcis Chinese Water Chestnut Tubers
Marsilea drummondii Common Nardoo Sporocarps - the pea-like fruiting structure
Marsilea mutica Rainbow Nardoo Sporocarps - the pea-like fruiting structure
Myriophyllum Water Milfoil Young shoots and leaves
Nymphoides indica Water Snowflake Young shoots and leaves
Orontium aquaticum Golden Club Roots and seeds
Pontederia cordata Blue Pickerel Rush Seeds and young leaf stalks
Triglochin procerum Water Ribbons Tubers
Typha latifolia Cumbungi Young rhizome tips and flower spikes
Vallisneria Eel grass or ribbon grass Leaves
Zone 5
Nelumbo Lotus Leaves, seeds and tubers
Nymphaea Tropical hybrids Tropical Waterlilies Rhizomes, leaves, young flower buds, and leaf stems
Nymphaea Hardy hybrids Hardy Waterlilies Rhizomes, leaves, young flower buds, and leaf stems

Acorus gramineus

Alisma plantago-aquatica

Aponogeton distachyos

Bacopa caroliniana

Bacopa monniera

Berula erecta

Ceratophyllum demersum

Cyperus papyrus

Eleocharis dulcis

Lemna spp.

Leperonia articulata

Centella cordifolia

Lythrum salicaria

Marsilea mutica

Mentha australis

Myriophyllum crispatum

Myriophyllum papillosum

Myriophyllum varifolium

Nelumbo nucifera

Nymphaea Assorted

Oenanthe javanica Pink Flamingo

Pistia stratiotes

Pontederia cordata

Thalia geniculata

Triglochin procerum

Typha latifolia

Vallisneria americana

Zantedeschia aethiopica