Scientific name

Barclaya Wallich

Common names




Native distribution

tropical Southeast Asia

Species commonly cultivated

Barclaya longifolia Wall. (India to Papua New Guinea)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


submersed plant with tuberous corm or slender rhizome

Brief description

Perennial, submersed (with no emersed leaves). Stem a corm or elongate rhizome. Leaves in rosettes along rhizome, petiolate; leaf blade oblong (orbicular in B. motleyi Hook. f.), red-brownish or green; margin entire, undulate. Flower borne on elongate petiole, either open and emergent or remaining submersed and closed; sepals 5; petals 8-10, red. Fruit contains numerous spiked orbicular seeds. Dispersal primarily by seed. Plant undergoes periodic resting stages.

Natural habitat

ponds and streams

Additional comments

Barclaya contains just two species. Barclaya longifolia is well established in the aquarium hobby and readily propogates by seed. Barclaya motleyi Hook.f. is much more demanding and is not cultivated for aquaria.