Towards the end of the week before last, with a lovely succession of visiting friends on the horizon, I was shopping for some flowers for the dining table. One guest in particular is particularly sensitive to such things, so rather than buy a bunch, I drew inspiration from an article in a recent Martha Stewart magazine and hot footed it to a local garden centre.
There wasn’t a great deal of choice where floating plants were concerned and one plant in particular looked familiar. I wasn’t sure of the botanical name but I thought I recognised this particular specimen from holidays in Asia, where the invasive water hyacinth has become a problem, to say the least.
I remembered sailing through rivers such as this one in Cambodia, where the floating green mass was almost an island in places. But I was merely going to put a single plant in a glass vase, so I didn’t think I need worry unduly about having to deal with a triffid situation for now.
I placed one of the plants in a free standing glass planter and took a photograph, using it for my photo of the day.
Just one week later, can you see the difference? (Yes, the sun is shining!)
In just a few days, the plant has already sprouted three “outriders”; small plantlets are growing independently of the main group and the slightest disturbance causes them to break off and float away.
I can see that, in no time at all, the bowl will be full of these floating pods and it becomes very clear indeed that such rampant growth could easily become a problem, had I put the thing in our pond rather than in a self contained glass bowl. When I’m ready to throw them out, I promise to dispose of them responsibly!
In the meantime, they have become quite the talking point.