Our turtle pond continues to undergo renovation. Last summer, a variety of water and lakeshore plants from the Botanical Garden were planted along the pond banks. We have now transferred to the pond new water plants that were removed from the crocodile cages, which are being renovated to host their new inhabitants.

The plants, which now cover the pond water, prevent the water from heating and also conceal the mosquitofish (which help us to reduce the mosquito population) from their predators. There are now three species of water plants in the pond: the water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), which was brought to Israel as an ornamental plant for fish ponds and aquaria and is considered today an invasive species since it inhabits natural water bodies in Israel; the common duckweed (Lemma minor), one of the fastest growing plants in the world and serving as a food source for many fish and water birds; and the floating fern (Salvinia natans), which was also brought to Israel as an ornamental plant but has spread to natural water sources in the north and central Israel. If you enlarge the photo you will be able to see the tiny hairs on its leaves. These hairs repel water and help the plant to float on the water surface.  

water plants

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