R145.00 incl VAT
Waterblommetjies have found themselves on the menu of many well-known, and not-so-well-known, South African restaurants and family tables. If you have a pond, or are thinking of creating one, growing this flowering water ‘weed’ will take your food gardening adventure in another direction.
Hadeco is a well-known South African producer of quality tubers and bulbs for the export and domestic market. We are pleased to be able to offer their products online and in-store, and in a first for us this year, we have waterblommetjie tuberous rhizomes on offer.
Who’d have thought it – a flowering water ‘weed’ has found itself on the menu of many well-known, and not-so-well-known, South African restaurants and family tables. This unique water vegetable flowers in winter and early summer and, potentially, at other times of the year depending on where it is sited. If you have a pond, or are thinking of creating one, growing this flowering water ‘weed’ will take your food gardening adventure in another direction.
The waterblommetjie (literally: water flower) is a tuberous rhizome and there are 45 to 50 species in Africa and Asia. The plants make a pretty pond decoration. They usually flower from winter into early summer but, depending on the location, they could flower sporadically through the year. At maturity they will reach 10 to 60cm tall. Waterblommetjies are also called water hawthorn, Cape pond weed and vleikos.
The package contains five bulbs, ready to set free in your water feature. They are best planted a metre apart so if your space is limited, this is a good time to share with like-minded friends.
When and how to plant
Rhizomes are available from March to May, and flower from August to November.
The rhizomes can be planted in clean water at a depth of 10 to 60cm in autumn. They prefer muddy ponds. The rhizome should sink but, if it does not, it can be attached to a small stone to help it settle. They can be spaced 1 metre apart – so if you don’t have a large pond, share with your friends. Waterblommetjies are also pot friendly and can be planted shallowly in a pot with well-composted soil. The lowest temperature that the plant can tolerate is 0°C but they cope in both sun and semi-shade.
In order to protect the plant from koi fish (which disturb the soil and nibble on the leaves) plastic mesh can be used to close off the bottom of the pot and extend up to the surface of the pond. The nutrient cycle of the fish in the pond will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs. (The plants are raised by aquaculture, basically.)
The rhizomes are pollinated by bees and multiply freely. The seeds will germinate on the surface of the water and these can be used for replanting.
Pick and soak in salty water for an hour before cooking, to remove any slime.
Culture and use
Waterblommetjies are the hero ingredient, with lamb, in the legendary Cape recipe: waterblommetjie bredie. There’s also a vegetarian option made with potatoes, beans, mushrooms and coriander. Yum!
|Dimensions||20 × 15 × 15 cm|