Gunnera perpensa is a very hardy, deciduous marsh plant, with large tuberous roots that have a nitrogen fixing, symbiotic relationship with blue-green algae. It has beautiful big, round, bluish-green leaves that are carried on long stems and arise from a central point on the roots.
The tiny brown flowers are densely packed in gracefully-drooping spikes from September to February.
Gomphostigma virgatum is an extremely hardy, evergreen, water-loving, graceful perennial or shrub with small, elongated, attractive grey leaves.
It blooms profusely almost all year round with spikes of white flowers.
Nymphoides indica is a semi-deciduous, floating plant with rhizomes and long, slender stems ending in almost circular leaves floating flat on the surface of the water.
From October to May it has abundant, small, fluffy, yellow flowers at the edge of each leaf and is a pretty sight floating on the surface of a pond.
It is also suitable for a very small pond.
Aloe cooperi is a very hardy, stemless Aloe with long, narrow, yellow-green leaves arranged in a fan shape and distinctively keeled with white spots beneath.
It has spikes of apricot or yellow coloured, tubular flowers from December to March.
The flowers attract nectar feeding birds such as Sunbirds and White Eyes.
It grows solitary or in small groups and thrives in a variety of soil types and unusually for an Aloe, grows in marshy places.
It is also very frost tolerant and grows in cold areas.
The flowers and leaves can be cooked and eaten.
Aristea ecklonii is hardy, evergreen, clump-forming, perennial bulbous plant with narrow, strap-like, slightly pleated leaves that are carried in a fan.
It bears flowering stems of amazing pale to deep mauve-blue flowers from August to March. There is a white flowered form grown at Random Harvest nursery (see gallery of pictures).
It requires morning sun as the flowers open in succession early in the day and close in the afternoon.
It grows best in moist conditions near ponds or well-watered areas.
Vallisneria spiralis [= aethiopica] is a hardy, evergreen plant that grows completely submerged in water and cannot tolerate being above water.
It has long, linear leaves that can range in colour from light-green to dark-green and can grow up to 1m tall depending on the depth of the pond.
Its insignificant flowers are carried on spiral stems and often break off and float on the surface.
This plant propagates mainly by runners.
It helps oxygenate and clean the water as well as providing habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.
Plant in a pot in a sunny to semi-shaded part of a pond, where water is no deeper than 1m.
Size: up to 1m