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Ceratophyllum demersum - L.                
                 
Common Name Hornwort
Family Ceratophyllaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Ponds and ditches[17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, but absent from the Arctic.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Ceratophyllum demersum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Water.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

Ceratophyllum demersum Hornwort


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Ceratophyllum_demersum0.jpg
Ceratophyllum demersum Hornwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BerndH
   
Habitats       
 Pond; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves[105, 177]. No further details are given.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiperiodic;  Stings.

The plant is a cooling antiperiodic[240]. It is useful in the treatment of biliousness and scorpion stings[240].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a sandy medium rich in decaying organic matter in full sun, but it tolerates shade better than most submerged aquatic plants[188]. A good pond oxygenator, it usually grows submerged in the water but is sometimes found floating on the surface[1, 188]. This species belongs to one of only two known dicot genera where pollination taks place under water. The anthers of male flowers break off the plant and float to the surface where they release their pollen grains. These then sink under the water to fertilize the female flowers[274]. This species, however, more commonly reproduces asexually[274]. In some parts of the world bilharzia-carrying snails and malaria-carrying mosquito larvae shelter in the leaves of plants of this genus. The plants can also grow so vigorously as to choke waterways, though they also provide good shelter for young fish[274]. The plant is very brittle[1].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - we have no details on this species but would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse with the pot immersed in water. It is likely that the seed will quickly lose viability if allowed to dry out so if it is stored it should be kept cool in a container of water and then be sown in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings in the growing season root easily[188]. Plants propagate themselves naturally when scaly young shoots or winter buds separate from the main plant[188].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[274]Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
An excellent flora, which is also available on-line.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Ceratophyllum demersum  
             

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