Water-lettuce - Pistia stratiotes


A floating plant with rosettes, up to 30 cm across, of thick, hairy, bluish-green leaves.

Identification difficulty

Ponds, canals and slow-flowing rivers.

When to see it

Spring and summer, dying off in cold weather.

Life History

It is a tropical floating plant, and so will die off completely and for good in winter, but it will multiply rapidly during the summer if the water is sufficiently rich in nutrients.

UK Status

Water lettuce is casual in Britain, with scattered records, mainly in southern England.

VC55 Status

Rare or under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

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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