Callitriche – For Oxygenating and Attracting Newts
Callitriche is a submerged aquatic but also terrestrial plant that grows underwater to a water depth of 60cm. It adapts to growing in shallow and moist margins, where it favours clay and silt. There are many wild species that are very similar in appearance; they can grow in full sun, partial and/or full shade; and are all over the UK in ponds, lakes, canals, marsh lands, streams and ditches.
Callitriche, also known as ‘Water Starwort’, has small, round, bright green leaves. These change shape on the water surface, where it puts on a display of rosette clusters of star shaped leaves that float on the water. The fresh-looking leaves are Evergreen and look great throughout the autumn and winter. Its underwater leaves are favoured in spring by Palmate, Smooth and Great Crested Newts that lay and wrap their eggs in the leaves for protection.
Uses in the Water Garden
Starwort is a native plant and very popular with many water gardeners and for lots of good reasons. It’s an excellent for wildlife gardens and attracting wildlife. Being adaptable in the wild to varied water levels, this plant is Terrestrial, and therefore transforms itself in late spring and early summer. At these times, it takes on a completely different growing habit of low, dense, creeping mats of foliage. Starwort is therefore, an excellent pond edging plant for all pond visitors that need a drink and a safe entrance and exit out of the water.
The underwater growth also makes excellent protection and a safe hiding place for small fish and all kinds of underwater pond life. Finally, Starwort is a fantastic oxygenating and nitrate removing plant. Some say that it can only be found growing in clear water, but that would be because it has created that crystal clear water. We carry two distinct species of Callitriche for sale on our nursery www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk. For more information and images, please click on the links below.
Callitriche Stagnalis (more star shaped leaves than Hamulata)
Callitriche Hamulata (more dense and compact out of water)