Cape pond weed (Aponogeton distachyos) is an acquatic flowering plant native to South Africa and it is believed that its family – the Aponogetonaceae – is one of the most primitive. Well adapted to the rainy climate of the regions around the Cape, this plant grows in swamps and waterholes and blossoms abundantly in the first days of autumn.
The flowers are forked, with small white flowers that look waxy and a part that resembles brown antlers. The leaves, on the other hand, float on the water’s surface and, normally, the flowers rise up above the leaves, which gives the plant a curious appearance.
Cape pond weed can be eaten and it is the base ingredient for a traditional dish, waterblommetiebredie. This is a delicious stew, one of the favorites of local people, whose name cames from Afrikaans and means ‘small water flower stew’.