Water Soldier at Summerwood Community Garden

I recently visited the excellent Summerwood Community Garden in Clifton, and it was good to see that real efforts have been made to create wildlife-friendly spaces throughout the site.  I was impressed by the large wildlife pond….

The pond was teeming with Dragonflies and other insects on the sunny day when I visited, and had an impressive display of wildflowers around it as well.  The pond itself had a good variety of aquatic plants, most obviously White Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) and Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides)…..

Water Soldier is an unusual and interesting plant.  It spends most of the year more or less submerged, and so is easily overlooked; but it emerges from the water surface in summer, to flower….

The plant is quite rare in the wild, and is probably only truly native in parts of Eastern England – so it’s good to see it in this wildlife pond.  One of many good reasons to visit Summerwood Community Garden this summer!

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