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Hydrocotyle Ranunculoides 'Crystal Ball'

‘Crystal Ball’ is the newest ornamental introduction of native origin from Aquascapes Unlimited, Inc. – a native wetland plant nursery located in Pipersville, PA. Other Aquascapes Unlimited introductions of native origin include ‘Silk Stockings’ (patent # PP12198) a red leafed Arrowhead with net-like patterns, and ‘Big Red’ a super vigorous Golden Club with red petioles. Aquascapes Unlimited grows wetland, aquatic, and carnivorous plants from seed. ‘Crystal Ball’ was discovered as a sport, isolated, developed, trialed, and propagated for 3 years in the nursery.

“We see lots of variegation in our nursery because we grow hundreds of thousands of plants annually and everyone here is always on the lookout for something unusual. However, we only introduce a plant into the market if we think they have staying power. ‘Crystal Ball’ has that potential and is truly one in a million.”

‘Crystal Ball’ was 1st introduced (in honor of Greg Speichert, who founded Crystal Palace Perennials – a nursery dedicated to developing and introducing new plant varieties to the wholesale trade) at the Perennial Plant Symposium (PPA) on July 6th, 2012. Greg & Sue Speichert literally wrote the book on aquatic plants: The Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants. Greg was an outstanding plantsman who unfortunately passed away suddenly while attending a plants conference at Longwood Gardens in PA. In keeping with his visionary spirit and zest for life, it seems fitting that the variegated buttercup pennywort ‘Crystal Ball’ be named in his honor. After all the Hydrocotyle genus (pennyworts) was one of his favorites. “Greg would be delighted,” - Sue Speichert.

‘Crystal Ball’ “looks” best as an accent plant sweeping down a waterfall or cascading over the edge of a planted container. Excellent for lighting up a dark corner of the water garden as it is shade tolerant. Perfect for softening the edges inter-planted among a taller plant such as Taro, Thalia, or Papyrus. ‘Crystal Ball’ “works” best as a biological filter in a watercourse to remove suspended particulate matter. ‘Crystal Ball’ is a good looking workhorse that should be around for years to come in the water garden market.

  • Apiaceae
  • Stems floating or creeping
  • Roots at nodes
  • Non-peltate umbrella like leaf
  • Found PA to Fl west to Pacific
  • USDA zone 5-11
  • Grows on moist soil to 4” deep
  • Prefers clear water
  • Low growing (avg. 6” tall)
  • Tolerates part shade to full sun
  • Cream color margins on scalloped leaf
  • Native aquatic

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