Lunularia cruciata

Approaching the world of the “simplest” plants in the world is fascinating, as it is like taking a look at the most remote past of the planet we live on. One such species is the Lunularia cruciata.

As you can see in the images, it is not a plant that attracts much attention, but it is interesting to know it since, for example, in ponds it looks great. Get to know it.

Origin and characteristics

It is a plant that the scientist Charles Darwin called “liver” because of the shape it takes, similar to a liver. It is native to the Mediterranean region, although it grows naturally in different parts of western Europe. To this day, it is naturalizing in the temperate/ warm regions of North America and Australia, where it begins to grow as a weed in gardens.

It is characterized by having leaves – known as cups – of greenish color and up to 5cm in diameter, which are capable of taking root very quickly when they detach from the mother plant. For this reason, it is having particular success in greenhouses. Although that is not its only way to reproduce, since it sometimes produces four archegonia (reproductive organs) arranged in a cross-shaped head from which seedlings sprout.

In what conditions does it live?

Image – Wikimedia/ JonRichfield

The Lunularia cruciata is a species that lives in humid regions rich in nitrogen, normally protected from direct sun. In addition, it can be associated with other living beings, in this case fungi, such as Loreleia Marchantiae and Mycosphaerella hepaticarum.

Bearing this in mind, if you want to grow it in a pond or in a pot without holes, use substrates that apart from having good drainage, are fertile, such as a universal growing substrate mixed with 40% perlite (you can buy it here ) for example.

Have you heard of this curious plant? What do you think?

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