Hottonia palustris (NL: Waterviolier / EN: Water Violet, Featherfoil / DE: Europäische Wasserfeder , Wasserprimel) is an aquatic plant in the Primulaceae family producing spikes of lilac flowers above the water in ponds and fen ditches from May to June. The plant has a stem reaching up to 80 cm in height. Its basal roots are buried in the underlying mud while other silvery, shiny roots dangle freely in the water. The leaves are deeply divided as far as the central vein, like the teeth of a double comb, and are completely submerged, but if there is a drastic fall in the water level they can surface. The leaves are alternate or connected to the stem in more of less regular whorls. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, Cleistogomy (self-pollinating without flowers ever opening) does occur also. Hottonia palustris provides excellent shelter for invertebrates like water spider, beetles, the nymphs of dragonflies and damselflies and the tadpoles of frogs, toads and newts.
Image: Lille (BE) - 03/05/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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