The Common Names of Marginal Pond Plants Explained
The vast majority of ‘common pond plant’ names are self explanatory. For example ‘Flowering Rush’ is a rush that flowers and ‘Cotton Grass,’ is grass like and produces fluffy cotton looking seed heads. However, there are some pond plants that have common names that keep us guessing. Some of these are based on shape, colour or smell, but there are also other interesting names that have developed over time from folklore. Although I cannot list every common pond plant name and definition,I hope the listings below create some interest –
Brandy Bottle – The flowers of this deep water aquatic plant smell of alcohol.
Bog Bean – Named after its smooth shiny bean shaped leaves.
Devils Bit Scabious – According to folklore, the devil was angry at the plants ability to cure scabies and other skin ailments.
Mares Tail – Apparently, this oxygenating plant produces leaves that emerge out of the water which look like horse tails.
Brooklime – This plant grows in muddy brooks and is a lovely lime coloured green.
Creeping Jenny – The name probably comes from the word ‘chinne’ which means whooping cough. This plant has been used as a herbal remedy throughout time to cure coughs. Its name was changed to Jenny later.
Water Soldiers – Has bayonet shaped leaves.
Water Starwort – This plant has lovely star shaped floating leaves.
Orange Peel Plant – When crushed or rubbed, the leaves smell of oranges.
Sweet Flag – This plant has a sweet aroma when the leaves are rubbed or the tuber is snapped open.
Water Forget Me Not – God gave all plants a name and when he had finished, a quiet voice from a low growing flower said “what about me,” so god called the plant Water Forget Me Not.
Sneeze Wort – The Latin name for this plant is ‘Achillea Ptarmica’. Ptarmica is apparently a Greek word meaning “to cause a sneeze”
Marsh Marigolds – It originates from the name of the Virgin Mary (Mary’s gold) and somewhere over time it became what we know it as today, Marsh Marigold.