Ludwigia repens is an extremely versatile plant. It is a beautiful aquarium plant which will also grow in ponds and in damp soil.
In an aquarium it needs fairly bright light. If grown with insufficient light it becomes fully green, but in brighter light it gets a beautiful coppery colour to its leaves and stems. If allowed to it will grow above the water surface. If given plenty of plant nutrients it grows rapidly. This rapid growth helps remove the excess Nitrogen that often builds up in aquariums. As with any rapidly growing green plant underwater, their growth is accompanied by the production of Oxygen that is beneficial to fish.
Ludwigia repens is also an excellent pond plant where it will grow either underwater, or as a floating plant.
This plant will grows roots from the stem nodes and even small pieces will grow in water. It is often sold in bunches in aquarium shops. This is for convenience of selling. Generally people will separate the pieces for planting in the substrate of their aquarium.
In the Soil
Some years ago, the main source of Ludwigia repens in South Australia was a wet section of a cow paddock. It will grow happily in wet soil.
Common Names include creeping primrose willow, Red Ludwigia, creeping water purslane and creeping primrose-willow. When sold in aquarium shops it is often just called Ludwigia.
The accepted scientific name of this plant is Ludwigia repens. A commonly used junior synonym is Luwigia natans. It has also been called Isnardia repens and Isnardia intermedia.
This species has many different forms, and the situation is further confused because of the ease with which it hybridizes with other species in its genus.
Ludwigia repens has the potential of being a weed in some situations.
It is native to some of the southern states of the United States of America and some Caribbean islands.