plant Easy level

Hydrocleys martii Seubert 1849

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Hydrocleys martii is a low-maintenance, perennial aquatic plant. In its natural biotope it is found in shallow and in stagnant water, where it blooms and bears fruit all year round.

This aquatic species is restricted to permanent or seasonal lentic water bodies such as shallow ponds and only rarely grows on river margins with weak currents. In regions with marked seasonal rainfalls, such as the Caatinga, where the growth period is restricted to a few months per year, flowering depends on the local rainfall regime and occurrence of the species is insular.

Native to: Argentina Northeast, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Uruguay.

In Brazil it was documented in Mata Atlântica, Mato Grosso, Pernambuco, Pará, Piauí, Caatinga, Santa Catarina, Pampa, Bahia, AmazôNia, Ceará, Pantanal, Alagoas, Rio Grande Do Norte, ParaíBa, and Cerrado.

Submitted by
Heiko Bleher
-15.3842754, -60.1234016
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Baia Grande near Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade
Water body part
Marsh land
Water body course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Bahia, Brazil
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Not Evaluated (NE)
Listed in CITES

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
21-26 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
50 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

Hydrocleys martii is a wonderful plant that can often be seen in botanical gardens, but is rarely available commercially. Although the species is not very suitable for cultivation in the aquarium, as it develops rather large floating leaves.

Plant care

Hydrocleys martii is distributed from Uruguay to the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, and Pará, being especially abundant in north-eastern Brazil. The roots are fixed in the substrate and the leaves float on the water surface. The inflorescence, a cymose umbel, bears 30 ± 4 mm wide yellow flowers with a dark centre. The flowers emit a relatively strong cockroach-like odour.

Water care

However, it can be well grown both in paludarium and in flat bowls with low water level or simply in a humid substrate, in a warm and well lit place. In this case it will develop not only floating leaves but also real emerged leaves. Even in winter it formes beautifully colored inflorescences.