>From: Stephen.Pushak at saudan_HAC.COM
>Date: Fri, 5 Jan 96 16:17:11 PST
>Subject: Bacopa flowering submerged
>My wife noticed the darnest thing last night; one of the Bacopa
>stems has opened up a small blue flower COMPLETELY SUBMERGED.
>This is the first time we've seen aquatic flowers underwater.
>Let me explain how I think it happened; some of the Bacopa stems
>have been growing quite vigorously and the stalks are sturdy
>enough that one or two have emerged several inches above the
>surface of the water. I left it that way for a while as a curiosity
>and to see how the emersed leaves would look. (similar the the
>submersed leaves, just smaller with a slightly waxy appearance)
>Later I cut these long stems in half and replanted the tops.
>This appears to be one of the replanted emergent stems that had
>already begun the process of developing a flower bud.
>The flower stem is about 1.5 cm in length and the size of the
>flower is about one cm. The flower petals are fairly large for
>an aquatic flower and have a purplish blue colour. I don't
>think it is going to last very long under the water. I guess
>I should have let it stay emergent for a while longer. :-}
>Has anyone played around with Bacopa flowers and seeds to try
>propagating this way? Do you need flowers from a plant not
>derived from the same genetic mother by vegetative propagation
>in order to produce fertile seeds? I think all my specimens
>came from the same original bunch of Bacopa a long time ago
>which were also likely all from the same biological mother.
Steve, It sounds like you have Bacopa amplexicalus (used to be called B.
caroliniana). If that is what it is, it will have a pronounced 'herbal'
odor when you rub a leaf. I used to have this species in a five gallon
aquarium where it pushed above the surface and bloomed regularly. It never
produced any seeds, however, and I never was interested in trying to cross
fertilize the flowers because the plant is so easy to propagate
vegetatively. I have Alternanthera (species unknown) that self-fertilizes
and prodices seeds, and I used to have water hedge, Didiplis diandra, which
also produced floating seeds that later sank and germinated.
You can try growing it emersed and then transfer pollen with a toothpick
from one flower to another.
Paul Krombholz Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS 39174