I think Lemna, commonly known as duckweed, is one of the most beautiful aquatic plants when you look at it up close. It has perfectly formed, fresh green, tiny leaves which float on the surface of the water and neat roots which fall gracefully underneath. Lemna epitomises what the surface of a pond should look like, in my mind.
The problem with this little plant is that it spreads at an alarming rate and thrives on sunny positions. In a short space of time, it can completely cover the surface of the water, blocking out important light for the life underneath. It quickly colonises due to its ability of creating ‘daughter’ plants off of the main stem, which break off and then repeat the process. Of course you can scoop out the excess plants once in a while, if you have a small pond. If you are blessed with a large water feature, pond or even lake… it can be a bit more tricky.
Luckily in our miniature pond the duckweed is only in one corner, but I think that is because the pond in is partial shade for a lot of the day. I wonder how it would cope with moving water, as I hope to build some sort of gentle water feature as part of the wall of a courtyard (that I am still in the process of drawing – definitely not yet building). The flying insects like to use it as a landing pad for access to the water and the froglets enjoy hiding amongst the leaves, thinking that they can’t be seen, I would really like to keep it when the pond gets transplanted.