The Morena (Hydrocharis morsus ranae), known as frog, water lily, frog moraine or even frog hydrocharis, is a perennial aquatic plant native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa that has a good winter hardiness (-17 °C).
It is a floating plant whose small, rosette-like leaves, deciduous, stalked, round or heart-shaped, glossy mid-green, about 3 cm long, flat, float on the surface like those of water lilies. They are smaller, about 5 cm in diameter.
Blooming in summer are attractive cupped flowers, 1 to 3 cm in diameter, with 3 white petals showing their yellow stamens from the centre.The female flowers are solitary while the male flowers are united in an inflorescence containing up to 4 flowers depending on the species may include the feet as the plant is dioecious. The insects pollinate the plant, and fertilization produces berries with tiny seeds scattered about the water.
The frog spreads with horizontally floating stolons that form bulbous buds at their end: these remain at the bottom of the water during the cold season and then rise to the surface in spring, when it warms up, to become new plants. It is therefore necessary to remain vigilant with a view to expanding the Morene.
The leaves of the morene serve as a support for the frogs that bask in them and as a runway for the bees and other pollinating insects that come there to drink.
- Family: Hydrocharidaceae
- Type: water perennial
- Origin: Europe, West Asia, North Africa
- Colour: white flowers
- Sowing: yes
- Cutting: no
- Planting: spring, summer
- Flowering: June to August
- Height: 10cm
Ideal soil and exposure for Morene
Frogbit does well in full sun or part shade in a shallow tank with calm, alkaline water.
Date of sowing, dividing and planting the frog
Seedlings can be made in a ramekin under some water when the seeds are mature.
Dividing the bulb buds that come to the surface in spring is a much easier method of propagation.
The installation is carried out at a depth of 5 to 20 cm, so more on the surface, which allows the plant to move a little depending on the wind. Do not exceed 4 ft/m².
Council of care and culture of the Morene
The Morene does not require any maintenance other than suppressing the rejects when they prove to be too numerous, especially in a rich water.
Diseases, pests and parasites of the frog
The frog leaves whet the appetite of aquatic snails in spring.
Location and favorable association of Morene
It is a plant found in shallow garden ponds, including mini garden ponds, in a pond, ditches…
Recommended species and varieties of hydrocharis for planting in a pond
genre Hydrocharis has only 2 species in total, but you will only find the Morene (Hydrocharis morsus ranae) available in Europe because Hydrocharis chevalieri grows in Africa where the climate is not the same.
(Image credit: Petroglyph – CC BY-NC 2.0)