27 October 2011
A new addition to the fern garden is an aquatic plant given me by a doctor-couple who visited the farm recently. They are friends of mine and are nature and outdoor lovers as well, though I only learned that Sunday that the wife is also into plants. She was very appreciative of the gardens and it's always a pleasure to host friends who visit and know the plants by name!
Some days later, she sends me a water plant which she calls Eared Watermoss (Salvinia auriculata), the creeping, boat-shaped leaves on the photo above. When I researched on it, I was delighted to learn that it is an aquatic fern! I did not even know that such exist, and now a friend gives me some to complement the other epiphytes and terrestrials in the fern garden; a true and well-thought out gift.
My fern book hardly touches on it; Salvinia is mentioned but there's not even one photograph in all the pages. In other references, it's towards the end of the fern section and not much page space is given to their group of aquatics (in fact, I still only see two kinds, the other being Azolla).
The other plant, the rosette-looking light green plant is called Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). It is called kiyapo in Tagalog, which apparently grew profusely centuries ago on the banks of the Pasig River, thus the Manila arrabál was so named.