Ottelia ulvifolia (Planch.) Walp.

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Ottelia ulvifolia

Photo: Kevin Murphy
Lukulu (FEOW: Bangweulu-Mweru)

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Synonyms: Damasonium ulvifolium Planch.
Ottelia lancifolia A. Rich.
Ottelia latifolia De Wild.
Ottelia plantaginea Ridl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Aquatic herb. All parts smooth or with only minute, unicellular teeth. Leaves submerged, only floating in shallow water, numerous, tufted, ovate-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 8-40 cm long, thin and often translucent, pale green to brownish-green, often with purple markings; petiole distinct or undifferentiated from a gradually tapering blade. Inflorescence appearing just above the surface of the water, peduncles 3-angled; spathes elliptic-oblong,ovate or nearly circular, c. 2-5 cm long. Flowers bisexual; sepals 3, lanceolate to linear, 8-15 mm long, translucent, pale green or pinkish-brown, darker at the tip and darker brownish veins; petals 3 obovate, up to 25 × 10 mm, yellow, white or white with a yellow base, often wrinkled. Fruit ovoid to oblong-cylindric, 20-40 mm long, opening by decay.
Derivation of specific name: ulvifolia: with leaves submerged in water
Habitat: Occurring in a wide variety slow flowing and stagnant waterbodies and watercourses.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1800 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical and subtropical Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 8 December 2010

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 127.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 274. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 91.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 124.

Symoens, J.J. (2009). Hydrocharitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Pages 31 - 32.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 185.

Other sources of information about Ottelia ulvifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ottelia ulvifolia
Flora of Caprivi: Ottelia ulvifolia
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ottelia ulvifolia
Flora of Malawi: Ottelia ulvifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Ottelia ulvifolia
Flora of Zambia: Ottelia ulvifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ottelia ulvifolia
African Plant Database: Ottelia ulvifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ottelia ulvifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ottelia ulvifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ottelia ulvifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ottelia ulvifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ottelia ulvifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Ottelia ulvifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ottelia ulvifolia
Plants of the World Online: Ottelia ulvifolia
Tropicos: Ottelia ulvifolia
Wikipedia: Ottelia ulvifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ottelia ulvifolia., retrieved 26 May 2024

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