Water Primrose biologically referred to as Ludwigia spp. is a herbaceous plant, native to Central and South America. It can be found mostly in the wet, swampy ditches that receive plenty sunshine. One can spot it in shallow lakes, ponds surface and slow-flowing streams. The plant is made of round, elliptical or egg-shaped leaves with margins. The leaves are shiny vibrant green on the upper surface while slightly hairy on the bottom side. They are alternately arranged on the entire stem.
In North America, it has been classified as invasive because it occupies wetlands and inhibits the growth of native species. Ever wondered how it got its name? The flowers of this primrose resemble the flowers of evening primrose and that’s how it got its name. Enlightening! Isn’t it? Check out for some other interesting facts about water primrose below.
1. Water primrose blooms typically between the month of June and October. Since it is a perennial plant, its lifespan is more than two years. During this time, they act as a rich source of nectar and pollen. As a consequence, flies, and bees get attracted to this plant which results in its further pollination.
2. The plant naturally produces yellow-colored flowers (just like that of the common evening primrose) that grow from axils of the leaves. This flower contains both reproductive organs.
3. The red-green erect stem of water primrose can reach up to 10 feet high. About 33% of the stem floats above the water surface and cover a large area with dense floating mats. They are able to cover such dense areas because they propagate through broken fragments, rhizomes, seeds, and runners.
4. The fruit of this water-borne plant consists of a cylindrical capsule filled with many seeds. Aquatic birds and ducks love munching on this seed.
5. This ‘invasive’ plant species serve as a shelter for frogs and aquatic insects.
6. The primary benefit of water primrose is that it has the power to eliminate excessive ammonia and nitrate present in the soil or water.
7. This plant is capable of eliminating its competitors because of its power to prevent the growth of bacteria, algae, and plant. So, the newly occupied area remains almost clear and you can spot only one plant in the region, i.e., water primrose.
8. Due to its dense presence, the plant is capable of changing the water quality. It has the potential to alter the natural ecosystem and reduce the oxygen levels.
9. The unwanted invasive species is also responsible for bringing a change in the amount of sulfates, nitrates, and phosphates present in the water.
10. When you see a colony of water primrose, you must have also experienced an alteration in the normal movement of the fishes and a changed nesting pattern of the birds.
Bonus Fact: Due to the dense mat formation, they clog waterways and can induce flooding as well. Consequently, it breeds mosquitoes that result in spreading diseases.