Butomus umbellatus (Flowering rush) is probably my favourite native water plant. It makes stands of green foliage flashed with red at the base and large umbels of pink flowers in June. This is another plant beloved of dragonflies; they like the round flower stems, up which they climb for their final moult into the adult insect. It’s hard to get this plant to perform well in small baskets as it needs to build up a lot of roots in order to produce the flowers, so it does best in rich mud and shallow water in full sun in a natural pond. For lined ponds use the biggest basket that you can, buy multiple plants and use lots of fertiliser. It is advisable to split and re-pot every season as the best bits will be those growing outside of the pot!
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