Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Aponogeton distachyos L.f.

Frost-hardy aquatic perennial with strap-like, oblong, floating leaves and small, hawthorn-scented white flowers held above the water from winter to autumn.  A reliable, mainly winter-flowering plant in my garden.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Root tuberous, eatable when roasted. […] Introduced into Kew Gardens, by Mr. Masson, in 1788.  Blooms most part of the year when placed in the greenhouse’.  [BM t.1293/1810].  It was apparently first naturalised in Britain at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and was reported to grow well outside in Southern England, particularly Cornwall, where it was introduced by Sir Charles Lemon.  The flowering tops are sometimes used in the Cape Colony both as a pickle and as a substitute for asparagus.  [The Gardeners Chronicle 1851].  PFG pl.43/1853.  ABR pl.290/1803. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues only [B.43/1850]. 


Published Jan 16, 2009 - 05:23 PM | Last updated Mar 13, 2010 - 05:56 PM

Illustrated are the strap-like leaves, white flowers and seed pods.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1293, 1810.

Aponogeton distachyos L.f. | BM t.1293/1810 | BHL

Family Aponogetonaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa

Common Name

Cape pondweed, Water hawthorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Aponogeton distachyon 

Confidence level high