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Oenanthe javanica

 
Oenanthe javanica
water parsley

Common name water parsley
Family apiaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z4-9)
Flowers white
Size 36"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes moist or wet soil, or in standing water

Edible plant with great vigor. We put a few starts in the bog filter area of our big pond, and watched it take over the entire area. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since it helps fill the purpose of the filter, while taller, spikier plants like water canna, irises, and cattails still easily poke up through the mass of watercress foliage. But as seen in the photo below, in early spring, before those taller plants really get going, it's a water parsley world out there. They attempt to escape the bog at times, sending out some colonies into the surrounding garden areas, but those have been easy to contain in my experience.
A few years ago, when a couple of young ducks made their home in our pond, they found the water parsley delectable, all but eradicating it by either eating it outright or uprooting it from their established positions. But it didn't take long for stray bits to start their rampant growth again once the ducks left. Most online information about this species pertains to the 'Flamingo' cultivar, which has variegated foliage (but is apparently equally vigorous). Our is the plain species, with evenly mid-green leaves.

Oenanthe javanica
Mass parsley
water parsley
The innocent beginnings

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Last modified: August 09, 2015
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