Aponogeton distachyos is a fast growing aquatic herb with glossy oblong leaves that float on the waters surface.
Sweetly scented, edible flowers stand up out of the water above the leaves, attracting attention. The flower is interesting in that it is a
forked inflorescence bearing tiny, white, one-petalled flowers with
Bees are very
attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and
spring. Large areas of water in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape
are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers.
An excellent plant for ponds and dams, although where growing conditions are good, it needs cutting back and splitting to keep it from taking over. Rhizomes can be lifted in autumn and divided. Replant them immediately in good soil, in shallow water, and as they begin to grow in summer they can be moved into deeper water.
Plant in pots, in good soil, and place in full sun to partial shade for some of the day.
This is a well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. It has become so popular that many commercial plantings have been made in ponds around the western Cape. Cooked with onions, mutton or lamb and a few leaves of the local sorrel/suring (Oxalis pes-caprae), it makes a delicious stew.