Plants found within and around the margins of ponds in Herefordshire.

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudoacorus
Common marginal plant found around the drier parts of ponds. The plant should not be eaten.

Plants - P5

Common Bulrush (Reedmace) Typha latifolia
Grows well in water where nutrient levels are quite high, for example, due to fertilizer run-off. If left unchecked it can overwhelm a pond.
Photograph:  Giles King-Salter

Branched Bur-reed

Branched Bur-reed  Sparganium erectum
Very common around pond margins. 
Below is a close-up of the flowers and stems of the Branched bur-reed.

Branched Bur-reed flowers

Distinctive bur flowers
The distinctive flowers and branched stems of Branched Bur-reed Sparaganium erectum.

Black Sedge

Black Sedge Carex nigra
One of the many sedges, Black Sedge is very common. The photo on the right emphasises the distinctive flattened form of the seeds. The leaves seen in cross-section have a triangular form.

Float grass

Float grass  Glyceria fluitans
Float grass provides an excellent habitat for invertebrates and amphibians, making its location in a pond the optimum place for pond dipping. It is also a favoured place for Great Crested Newts to lay their eggs.

Orange Foxtail

Orange Foxtail Alopecurus aequalis
The plant grows out into the water (note the horizontal stems in the image) then flowers when the pond dries up later in the year.
The plant is quite uncommon in Herefordshire.

Plants - P28

Marsh and Orange Foxtail
Comparison of the flowers of Marsh Foxtail Alopecurus geniculatus with those of Orange Foxtail.
Photograph: Giles King-Salter

Hemlock Water-dropwort

Hemlock Water-dropwort Oenanthe crocata
Seen here in March as the new foliage is opening up.
The plant is highly toxic, especially the roots which are often mistaken for celery with fatal consequences.

Hemlock Water-dropwort in flower

Hemlock Water-dropwort in flower
Displaying the characteristic umbrellas of white flowers.

Tubular Water-dropwort

Tubular Water-dropwort Oenanthe fistulosa
Relative of Hemlock Water-dropwort but rarer and much smaller. Tends to grow around the muddy margins of ponds.
In the foreground of this picture are the flowers of Spike Rush.

Marsh Ragwort

Marsh Ragwort Senecio aequalis
Often comes up on bare ground where water has receded in the summer.

Golden Dock

Golden Dock Rumex maritimus
Often seen growing as a pond dries out.

Water Purslane

Water Purslane Lythrum portal
Small easily overlooked plant that tends to grow in the mud around pond edges.

Greater Spearwort

Greater Spearwort Ranunculus lingua
This is largely escaped from garden ponds, rare in the wild.
In the foreground is Common Spikerush Eleocharis palustris.

Plants - P17

Lesser Spearwort Ranunculus flammula
Shown here are the basal leaves appearing in March. Yellow buttercup like flowers follow later.
Photograph: Giles King-Salter

Common Water-crowfoot

Common Water-crowfoot Ranunculus aquatics
Aquatic buttercup, bearing white flowers.

Common Water-crowfoot in flower

Common Water-crowfoot in flower
Same plant as shown in the previous image but later in the year when the leaves have reached the pond surface, or the pond has dried out. The leaves then develop a broader, less divided, form.

Ivy-leaved Crowfoot

Ivy-leaved Crowfoot Ranunculus hederaceus
Tends to grow more in the mud than the water.

Round-leaved Crowfoot

Round-leaved Crowfoot Ranunculus omiophyllus

Grows on exposed mud. It does not have divided underwater leaves.


Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata
Tends to from large floating mats. Not common in Herefordshire.

Bogbean growth

Bogbean growth
Dense mat of bogbean growing out from an island in a pond.

Common and Least Duckweed

The smaller and darker leaved Lesser Duckweed in an alien species from the Americas. This form is also more shade tolerant.

Bog Pondweed

Bog Pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolius
Photograph: Giles King-Salter

Plants - P25

Broad-leaved Pondweed Potamogeton natans
Brown China-mark moth caterpillars cut tiny bits out of the leaves of the plant to form an enclosure, then float around the pond in these protective structures. Several of the leafs in this picture display the tiny holes produced in this way.

Plants - P26

Non-native hybrid Water-lily Nympaea X marliacea
These tend to form large clumps of leafs rising above the water surface, in contrast to the native water-lily.

White Water-lily

White Water-lily Nymphaea alba
Native White Water-lily – note leaves more spread out and not forming mounds.

White Water-lily flower

Flower of the White Water-lily
Close-up of the flower of the native water lily Nymphaea alba.

Plants - P1

Bladderwort Utricularia australis
Bladderworts, a carnivorous aquatic plant, grow readily in the Lawn Pool at Moccas Park Herefordshire but have not been found in any other ponds in the county.

Bladderwort submerged bladders

Submerged bladders
The submerged parts of Bladderwort are covered in tiny bladders which when disturbed small invertebrates open and suck them in, in an event lasting only a hundredth of a second!