In other parts of the series, we have presented:

Ottelia alismoides

This plant is not endemic to Sulawesi, or even Indonesia. It has a large distribution area that includes North Africa, South and Southeast Asia to China and Japan as well as Australia. It is introduced to the United States and is considered a weed there, although it spreads only slowly if at all. Its various parts are consumed or used in traditional medicine.

The typical occurrence of Ottelia alismoides is in rice fields, in shallow ditches, but also in slow-flowing streams and lakes. Thanks to its large, almost round leaves on long petioles, it is unmistakable. Young plants have narrow leaves, you can clearly see this in the photos below. It only reproduces sexually. Unlike Ottelia mesenterium, it does not send its flowers to the surface – it blooms above the water only in very shallow water, otherwise the white flower stays underwater.

Due to its wide range and greater adaptability, Ottelia alismoides is a better candidate for cultivation than Ottelia mesenterium, but it is more of a (warm) pond type of plant. The leaves can reach a length of up to 70 cm!

Ditch among the fields, South Sulawesi.
Scattered plants in Lake Matano at a site shared with Ottelia mesenterium, photo taken in 2022.
A very dense and extensive stand of Ottelia alismoides in Lake Matano, year 2023.
The white flower is quite large and the plant does not try to push it above the surface.
Seedlings have narrow leaves.
This looks like a completely different plant, but it will eventually become the majestic Ottelia alismoides. Now it reaches a height of about 30 cm.
Almost like a jungle 🙂
Another view of the fresh green Ottelia alismoides.

Markéta Rejlková