25 Common Water and Aquatic Plants Grown in the Philippines

Philippines is an archipelago with hundreds of creeks, stream, lakes, river and water system. Water plants are plenty and the country is rich in biodiversity. However some of the commonly grown water plants are introduced to the country.

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Freshwater Aquarium set-up by: Mr. Achilles Antiquina Lussier

They are classified into Emergent, Submerged, Floating-leaved, Free-floating. Our team made a short list of 25 common water plants grown or found in semi-naturalized state.

We eliminated Ipomea aquatica or Kangkong / Kangkung, since it is used as food. Better  post in another topic.

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water plants grown in cement pond

25 Common Water Plants

25.) Ludwigia sedoides – commonly called Mosaic plant, False Loosestrife. This water plant originates from Brazil, Venezuela. This had become naturalized in many tropical, sub-tropical and even temperate countries.This blooms during June to August which coincide with the rainy season, But this may also bloom during the dry season. Some sell this from Php 50.00 small plant to as much as Php 200 in some online sites.

24.) Myriophyllum aquaticum commonly called parrot’s-feather and parrot feather watermilfoil. Parrot feather gets its name from its feather-like leaves that are arranged around the stem in whorls of four to six. This water plant originally is native of South America and quickly spread via the tropical aquarium trade in North America and elsewhere.

In some countries, Like the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Southern United States.  parrot’s-feather can quickly clogged waterways and ponds. The growth can block sunlight and cause native plants to die because of light deficiency. The organisms that feed on the native plants can die off due to starvation.

This is also commonly sold in Cartimar and in many aquarium pet stores all over the country.

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photo courtesy of pixabay : johnnykarlsson1-5486868

23.) Limnobium laevigatum is a floating plant commonly called West Indian spongeplant, South American spongeplant and Amazon or smooth frogbit. This floating plant is native to Central and South America and quickly spread all over the tropical and sub-tropical areas due to aquarium plant trade.

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Cypreus alterniflolius

photo courtesy of : pixabay: jaclou-dl-5602247

22.) Cyperus alternifolius, common names are umbrella papyrus, umbrella sedge or umbrella palm,Indian matting plant. This was native to Madagascar in Africa but quickly spread in many parts of the world.

This is commonly seen in rice paddies, pond, creeks,irrigation canals throughout the country. The umbrella palm is sought after for its impressive height that can grow to six feet. It creates a soft backdrop for shorter aquatic plants, but it can grow notoriously fast and spread if not put in a container.

21.) Eleocharis acicularis is a species of spikeedge known by the common names needle spikerush and least spikerush. This is common in most aquarium stores in Cartimar and pet stores.

20.) Echinodorus grandiflorus Commonly called spade-leaf sword, creeping burhead, Amazon spade leaf. There were at least 40 known species of this genus and quite common in aquarium trade all over the world.

It is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina,Venezuela and Florida in the United States of America.

This plant species is quite common is rice paddies, water irrigation ditches, ponds, lagoon and garden center. Immersed plants readily produce flowers and seeds but it can be grown submersed as well.

Small plants are being sold between Php 25.00 to Php 400 depending on the size. Variegated plants are also sold for a little bit higher compared to the ordinary green leaf types.

19.) Lemma minor commonly called duckweed, or lesser duckweed. Lemna minor is the common duckweed works well as a water purifier. It can help control the algae.

Some of the economic importance of Lemma minor is used as animal fodder, bioremediator, for wastewater nutrient recovery, and other applications.  This is common in rice paddy fields, ponds, aquarium trade and lakes. It is also given as a feed to ducks, chicken and goose.

It is found in many areas of the world and have naturalized in Australia and South America. In aquarium trade, it is sold between Php 5.00 for a small cup to as much as Php 50.00

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photo courtesy of pixabay: laila_-6779063

18.) Ceratophyllum submersum and Ceratophyllum demersum commonly known as the soft hornwort ,tropical hornwort, coontail or coon’s tail . This seems to have naturalized in almost all water system in the country.

Its fluffy, filamentous, bright-green leaves provide excellent cover for newly hatched fish. It is propagated by cuttings.

Sometimes they are so common that backyard hobbyist would give them away as freebies. They are sold between Php 10.00 to Php 50.00 depending on size in online sites.

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photo courtesy of pixabay : loilamtan-4659988/

17.) Hydrocotyle vulgaris commonly called pennywort, whorled marsh pennywort, shield pennywort, pennyworth, money plant, lucky plant, copper coin, mangkok, Yahong-yahong is a flowering plant found in Europe, North Africa, North and Western Asia. This may have been introduced during the late Spanish colonial rule or early American regime in the country.

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Hydrocotyle vulgaris blooming in a garden plot within Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Sometimes people would mistake this as gotu kola (Centella asiatica), since the leaves are almost the same.  They are sold between Php 20.00 to Php 50.00 in online sites depending on how big the plant.

16.) Azolla pinnata is a species of aquatic fern known by several common names, including mosquito fern, feathered mosquito fern and water velvet. This is common in rice fields and waterways.

15.) Cabomba carolina – This is originally found as an aquatic perennial herbaceous plant native to North and South America. However human migration and introduction spread this water plant in many parts of the world. To some extent, invasive species in Australia, Europe and many parts of tropical, sub-tropical area, temperate areas.

14.) Bacopa monnieri is creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Common names are water hyssop,waterhyssop, brahmi, thyme-leafed gratiola, herb of grace,and Indian pennywort.

13.) Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia is a native to the Philippines and commonly sold in tropical aquarium trade. Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia is considered easy to cultivate and will grow in moderately hard water if necessary, though it grows naturally in slightly soft water. It prefers moderate to low levels of light.

This water plant is found in Negros, Panay islands in the Visayas and Southwestern part of Luzon. This is also found in the Bicol region. Some of the problems encountered by local aquarium hobbyists is the over harvesting, water pollution of this species.

12.) Rotala rotundifolia is found in many South-East Asian countries has long, thin leaves and 15-30 long stems, 2-3 cm wide including the leaves. Unlike other Rotala species it is relatively undemanding, although it needs good light to produce red leaves.

11.) Salvinia it is a species of floating fern and is related to the other water ferns, including the mosquito fern Azolla. There were about 12 species are recognized with at least 3 are known to be hybrids. This is commonly seen in ponds, rice fields, water ways, pond, irrigation canals and popular in aquarium trade.

10.) Vallisneria genus was named after an Italian (Antonio Vallisner who lived from  May 3, 1661 – Padua to January 18, 1730) He was an Italian medical scientist, physician and naturalist.

2.) Pistia stratiotes commonly called kiapo, kiyapo, quiapo, kuyapo, cuyapo, apon, loloan, water lettuce, water cabbage, tropical duckweed, Nile cabbage or shellflower- Water lettuce is among the world’s most productive freshwater aquatic plants and considered an invasive species in other countries.

In some countries like India ( famine food), Southern parts of China and Africa. Young leaves are usually boiled to remove the acridity from calcium oxalate crystals.

The district of Quiapo in downtown Manila and the town of Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija was name after this plant. There were abundant kiyapo growing the creeks and river tributaries. Some local garden center sells Pistia stratiotes between Php 10.00 to Php 75.00 depending on the size.

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Eichhornia crassipes or Water hyacinth

1.) Eichhornia crassipes, known as water hyacinth or incorrectly called water lily is an aquatic plant native to the Central and South American countries.

Water hyacinth was introduced to the country by the Spaniards in the late 16th century in the country, It is now found in many parts of the world. Sometimes people would incorrectly called this as water lily and a festival is celebrated yearly in Las Piñas City.

Sipag Villar Foundation provides livelihood opportunity to women by helping them make products from water hyacinth. There are many uses of the stems such as wreath, baskets, mats, woven bags, tissue holder and slippers. Their livelihood advocacy had spread in many areas of the country.

However in many parts of the globe, this plant is considered as invasive species.

Bibliography, Sources and References:

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Gleason, H.A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Garai, S; Mahato, SB; Ohtani, K; Yamasaki, K (2009). “Dammarane triterpenoid saponins from Bacopa monnieri“. Can J Chem. 87 (9): 1230–1234.

Dkhar J, Kumaria S, Rama Rao S, Tandon P (2012) Sequence characteristics and phylogenetic implications of the nrDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS) in the genus Nymphaea with focus on some Indian representatives. Plant Systematics and Evolution 298: 93–108.

Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater. 1994. Alismataceae a Cyperaceae. 6: i–xvi, 1–543. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater (eds.) Fl. Mesoamer.. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D. F.

Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija website

Coetzee, J., M. Hill, M. Julien, T. Center, and H. Cordo. 2009. Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms–Laub. (Pontederiaceae). Pages 183–210 in R. Muniappan, G. V. P. Reddy, and A. Raman, eds., Biological Control of Tropical Weeds using Arthropods. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Christenhusz, Fay, and Chase (2017). Plants of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants. University of Chicago Press. p. 188.

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Brunner, Gerhard. 1973. Aquarium Plants. T.F.H. Publ., N.J.

Bogner, J., 1990. Filipino Cryptocoryne. Aquarist & Pondkeeper January 1990 : 38.

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All Plant Show at Evia Lifestyle Center

Philippine Nurserymen Association in collaboration with Arid and Aroids Event Management, Philippine Bonsai Society Inc., Succulent Club of the Philippines, Plant Hatter,Succulent and Spikes and Plantaholic Garden among others will be part of the ” All Plant Show” at the Atrium area, Evia Lifestyle CenterDaang Hari, Almanza Dos, Las Piñas, Metro Manila from February 28 to March 1, 2020.

There are no entrance fees during the 3-day event and the general public is invited to attend the series of talks, lectures, workshops, plant sale ! The show opens from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm during mall hours.

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All Plant Show

Special plants on display were Aloes, Cacti, Bonsai, Aroids, Flowering Plants, Orchids, Bromeliads, Tillandsias and others.

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Schedule of Daily Talks and Demonstration

February 29, 2020

SATURDAY 1:00 pm – #TeamCrush headed by Dran Dreb Macam and Mark Eleazar, 2:00pm – Terrarium Making by Mr. Christian Dela Cruz of House of Thorns 4:00pm – Aloe Culture and Breeding by Mr. Boyet Ganigan of Arid and Aroids, 5:00 pm-7:00pm – Succulent Forms and Update – by Succulent Club of the PH and Masitera 7:00pm – Plantscape Lecture and Exhibit by Mr. Marion Dela Cruz of Plantaholic

March 1, 2020

SUNDAY 2:00pm – Bonsai 101 4:00pm – Bonsai for Kids by Cavite Bonsai Club, Southern Manila Bonsai Club and Cavite Bonsai and Suiseki Society  6:00pm – ArteKultura by Ms.Jan Veran dela Cruz of My Piece of Earth

Contact Person : Ms. Savanna Lamsen ( 0915-775-5755)

Note: Schedule of daily talks and demonstration were subject to change without prior notification from the organizers of the event. It will also depend on the availability of the resource speaker.

11 Outstanding Youth Social Entrepreneurs Honored at Villar Sipag Institute

Villar Social Institute for Poverty and Governance [VILLAR SIPAG] spearheaded by the country’s number one senator in the recent national senatorial election, Senator Cynthia Villar.

“This is our way of supporting youth empowerment in the hope to further encourage more people as well as inspire others to significantly contribute to our goals as a nation,” Villar said.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar together with Las Piñas city councilors

Guests

Las Piñas National Science High School choir

The awarding started around past 10:00 am with solemn prayer and choir group from the Las Piñas National Science High School choir. Special guests which included the members of Las Piñas Garden Club, Zonta club, Rotary club of Las Piñas, senior citizen group, barangays, mayor of the city , councilors and immediate family members which included DPWH secretary Mark Villar, Mr. Manny Villar( former senate president and house speaker), Ms. Emmeline Aglipay Villar ( Department of Justice undersecretary) ,Congresswoman Ms. Camile Villar of the lone district of Las Piñas, Mr. Manuel Paolo Villar. President and CEO of Vista Land and Lifescapes and media.

3rd Villar Sipag trophies

This event is one of the highlights of the 14th waterlily festival held within the city.

Villar Sipag Awards

Villar SIPAG awards is currently on its third year, whose main goal is to alleviate poverty in their respective communities by means of social enterprises. Candidates for the awards are composed of groups of college or masteral students; young professionals, social enterprise groups, young businessmen, youth organizations as well as those from community organizations.

Quiniput 2h club from Zamboanga with hand made dolls

There were more than 80 youth sectors and organization from different parts of the country were initially screened during the early stages of the competition.

These were then further narrowed down to just top 20 by the evaluation committee, then there were two youth organizations which tied -in for the 10th place, hence an additional place were given.

As series of stringent evaluation and thorough screenings, the Villar SIPAG panel of judges were able to come up with the 11 finalists based on their originality, uniqueness of service/product, adaptability, sustainability and community participation.

Each awardee received trophy, certificate, cash prize of Php150,000 to further provide financial assistance to their projects and initiatives on poverty alleviation as well as a trophy.

Tanay Mountaineers Search and Rescue Incorporated members and supporters

I happen to saw an online friend Mrs. Agustiniana C. Avelino who supported and a member of the Tanay Mountaineers Search and Rescue Inc.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar together with her family

The event also serves as a pre-event birthday bash for Senator Cynthia Villar , who celebrates her birthday on July 29.

Youth Sector Awardees

This year’s recipient for the 3rd Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviate and  Governance) Award are as follows:

Cultivators 4Hers Club of Ilocos Sur Prison Jail, Bantay, Ilocos Sur, Region 1

Quirinian Youth In-Action Isabela, Region 2

Tanay Mountaineers Search and Rescue Inc., Tanay, Rizal Region 4A

Goa Young Farmers Association, Goa, Camarines Sur, Region 5

Saving Innocent Lives Amidst War (SILAW) Inc., Leon, Iloilo, Region 6

Youth For Livable Communities, Beverly Hills, Cebu City, Region 7

Family Help Project Merida, Leyte, Region 8

Quiniput 4H Club, Zamboanga City, Region 9

Food Secure Philippines, Midsayap, North Cotabato, Region 12

Power Se7en, Butuan City, Region 13

Ulama League For Call and Guidance Inc. Manila, National Capital Region

The recent which coincides with the Villar SIPAG Awards where 11 youngsters across the nation emerged as the Most Outstanding Youth Social Enterprises at a ceremony held at the Villar SIPAG Hall in C-5 Extension, Las Pinas City.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 3rd Villar Sipag awardees from renz15.com

Miss Las Piñas Waterlily Festival 2019

Water hyacinth or more popularly called water lily is the highlight of the annual festival in Las Piñas city.

Miss Manuyo 1

Miss Talon 2

Several beautiful candidates which represented different barangays and places within the city. The pre-pageant was held last July 19 at the Villar Sipag Convention Center.

Miss Pamplona 1, she also won special prize ” Miss Farlin Baby Face 2019″

Miss Manuyo 2

Some of the awards included the “People’s Choice” and Best in Waterlily costume.

Miss Almanza 2

Miss Daniel Fajardo

flower bouquets, trophies and crown made from water hyacinth 

Miss Waterlily Festival 2019

l-r people choice, 2nd runner-up,  Miss Las Piñas waterlily festival 2019 winner ( Ms. Mikaela Grace Salcedo from Pamplona 3)  and first runner-up

One of highlights of the Las Piñas waterlily festival is the search for the city’s most beautiful lady which had the intelligence, poise, grace, physical beauty and able to wear the costume made from water hyacinth.

Candidates were also chosen for their communication skills and involvement in community service.

The national costume are quite spectacular but for some participants, it is quite hard to carry the dress specially when going up the stage.

The winners of this year’s pageant have won trophies, crown made from water hyacinth ( aka water lily), sash made from water hyacinth, cash prizes which includes Php 25,000 for the grand champion, Php 15,000 for the first runner-up and Php 10,000 for the second runner-up.

Dance Festival and Handicrafts Showcase at the 14th Waterlily Festival

Colorful street dancers participated by different school in Las Piñas ,agricultural products and items made from water hyacinth were showcased at the 14th Waterlily festival.

The festival was well-attended by thousands of residents of the city, guests and foreigners. Senator Cynthia Villar, who started the holding of the festivities in 2006, said the festival through the years, has served the purpose of being the show window for the city’s most talented performers and the most beautiful and creative people.

“We are very proud of this festival which we also hold to express our commitment for a lifestyle that is in harmony with nature and the environment, ” Villar said.

14th Water lily ( Water Hyacinth festival)

Unang Hirit of GMA channel 7

Unang Hirit of GMA channel 7 went to cover the festivities and dozens of media correspondents , bloggers and vloggers were present during the event.

different handicrafts made from water hyacinth

The yearly festivity is participated in by more than 2,000 attendees,tourists and spectators coming from nearby areas like Cavite, Parañaque, Metro Manila and as far as Tanay ( Rizal), Bulacan and Laguna provinces.

coin holder, tissue holder for sale

Villar Sipag booth

baskets, bags, plate holder from water hyacinth

Although the water plant is popularly called waterlily . It is known as water hyacinth or ( Eichhornia crassipes ) which was introduced to the country during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in the mid-16th century.

slippers, bags made from stalks of water hyacinth

The water hyacinth became naturalized in waterways and tend to clogged the system during rainy season. When floral foam was not yet popular, water hyacinth stalks are also used by florists for their floral wreath.

Prizes

Inter-school street dancing competition was held from 6:00am to past 9:00 am. Groups composed of junior highschool students enrolled in the city competed for the following prizes : Champion :Php 50,000, First runner-up, Php 30,000 and Second runner-up for Php 20,000.

high school students in colorful native costumes made from water hyacinth stalks

Winners of the competition was judged according to their water hyacinth costume, props, choreography and technicality.

Mood was festive and people are anticipating next year’s 15th water lily festival 2020.