Monday, June 21, 2021

Marsh seedbox - Ludwigia palustris

Marsh seedbox (Ludwigia palustris) is a low-growing member of a large genus native to most of Florida and the rest of North America. As its Latin name suggests, it is common to marshes and other low-lying habitats. In such areas, it can withstand prolonged inundation and is even sold as an aquarium plant because of this.

This is a perennial species. Over time, it produces mats of reddish stems that grow outward in all directions. These mats can extend several feet in all directions from the original stem. The leaves are small (about 1/8-1/4 inch), oval in shape, opposite each other on the stems, and dark green in color. They also are somewhat succulent in appearance.  

Flowering can occur in most months. The individual flowers are less than 1 inch across and comprised of four bright yellow circular petals.  Though small, they are quite striking. They attract the attention of bees for the most part.

Because of its growth form and size, this primrosewillow is not offered commercially by any of the native plant nurseries I am aware of in Florida associated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. It is offered by sellers of aquarium plants, however, but most or all of those are offering specimens from locations outside of Florida. It should be easy to grow from cuttings if desired and would make an interesting ground cover at the edge of a pond, lake or seasonally flooded location.

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