Callitriche – water starwort

Height: 5mm ( .in)

Water depth: up to 60cm (2ft)

Features: foliage

Site: sun

Type: oxygenator

With its delicate, bright green leaves, water starwort is an attractive, efficient oxygenator. It is submerged most of the time, but the star shaped leaf rosettes of some species rise to the surface to produce their insignificant (lowers, hence their common name. The cress-like foliage is much loved by goldfish. The following two species are active at different times of the year, so try to include both in your pond.

Popular species Callitriche autumnalis (syn. C berinaphroditica) (autumn starwort) is ideal for deeper ponds. Its evergreen masses of pale, cress-like leaves are entirely submerged and remain active in winter – one of the lew oxygenating species to do so.

Callitriche vema (spring starwort) is suitable for shallow ponds. Its broadly elliptical, green leaves form rosettes on the surface of the water and die back in winter.


Star worts can be temperamental.

Propagation: Cuttings can be taken in spring and summer.

Pests and diseases: Trouble tree.

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