Pond plants can provide an attractive landscape on the water. The plants are generally perennials that die off during cooler winter months and re-emerge in the spring. The flowers provide a bright display of color during the spring and summer. Pond plants provide oxygen and help aerate the water.
The water starwort is considered a water weed. The plant usually grows in bodies of water that have little or no movement. They make an excellent source of food for ducks and other wildlife. The leaves of water starwort may be submerged or floating, and are about 1 inch wide and heart shaped.
Water violets are also known as feather foil or hottonia palustris. The leaves of water violets are feathery or comb like. The root system is partially immersed in the mud on the bottom of the pond, while some roots float freely. Water violets are marsh or swamp plants and must be submerged during certain stages of the growth cycle to remain healthy.
The water lily is one of the most common of all water plants. The plant has large, circular, thick leaves that float on top of the water and are referred to as "lily pads." The flowers come in a wide variety of different colors, and are usually pink. Lilies are fragrant flowers, but can take over water areas and restrict swimming and water access.
Lotus flowers are often confused with water lilies. The lotus is native to northeast China and can live many years. The lotus flower can only be found in shades of pink and white. The center of the lotus has a distinctive seed pod, and the center of the flower lacks the structure of the water lily.
The water crowfoot has deeply-submerged leaves and tiny, white flowers with yellow centers. There are more than 400 species of plants in the crowfoot family, including buttercup and spearworts. It is not uncommon to see water crowfoot covering the top of a lake or pond. Water crowfoot is a great source of food for dragonflies and other beetles and insects. The plant is toxic to livestock and can cause blistering in the mouth.