Common Water-starwort - Callitriche stagnalis

Alternative names

Submerged or terrestrial plant with stems up to 60 cm long, submerged leaves are narrowly elliptical, floating leaves often 6 in a rosette, broadly elliptical to rounded, pale green, usually with 5 veins. Terrestrial forms with smaller and thicker leaves, with the plant growing much shorter, just a few centimeters. Flowers in the axils of rosette leaves only, solitary 1 male and 1 female together.

There are other very similar species in this genus which means that detailed examination of an actual specimen is generally needed to identify the exact species (see below).

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification as it cannot be reliably identified from photographs. A sample is best taken around July time.  If a specimen is not available the record should be submitted as Callitriche agg.


Still or slow moving water (occasionally in faster water) often in ponds.

When to see it

May to September.

Life History

Annual or perennial.

UK Status

Frequent throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 193 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map