Pontederia diversifolia (Vahl)

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Pontederia diversifolia is a beautiful stem plant from tropical Central and South America. This aquatic lives in shallow waters or on muddy substrates. Sometimes it is also encountered in the natural habitats with the strong current where it developes long, up to 10cm, leaves arranged in a distinct spiral along the stem. After reaching the water surface, the stem tip develops round, reniform, shining floating leaves and nice blue flowers. In the aquarium planted in the background or midground it will have the major effect.

It is native to Colombia and present in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Suriname, and Venezuela. Afterwards, it was also introduced into Cuba, Dominican Republic, India, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan.

Synonym: Eichhornia diversifolia.

Submitted by
Natasha Khardina
3.8931279, -73.2797546
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
Rio Meta
River catchment
Rio Brazo Pajure
Water body type
Water body name
Caño Giramena
Water body part
Water body course
Upper course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Rio Acacias
Type locality
Colombia, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Valle del Magdalena
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
18 - 35 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

5 - 7
0 - 30 mg/l
0 - 10 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
in the aquarium – up to the surface, in Nature up to 200 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

For the better growth Pontederia diversifolia should be well supplied with nutrients and CO2.

Plant care

Pontederia diversifolia grows submersed or with floating leaves in tropical regions. It is known to form vast zones of floating leaves in rivers.  This fast grower should be trimmed in time to prevent floating leaves, if these are undesirable. It should never be planted in shady areas, as its leaves will change their colour and tirn transparent.

Water care

Pontederia diversifolia does well in water with slightly acid to neutral pH value. Sufficient nitrate and phosphate are crucial to its health, too – approx. 5-20 mg/l of nitrate and 1-2 mg/l of phosphate. A lack of nitrate, phosphate and iron are probably the reason for difficulties in cultivating this plant.