Water-soldier - Stratiotes aloides

Alternative names
Water Soldier

Stratiotes aloides has serrated sword like leaves and in summer it resembles a pineapple top floating on the water. The white flowers are borne in clusters on the male plant, but singly on the female plant.

Identification difficulty

Still open water. Tolerates shade well.

When to see it

In flower during June, July and August.

Life History

Perennial aquatic plant. In the summer when it flowers, this plant floats on the water surface with the leaves just above the surface. In the autumn they become covered with a slimy secretion (calcium carbonate) and the whole plant sinks to the bottom to rise again in the spring. It is a native UK species, but many plants found have escaped, or been discarded, from garden ponds.

UK Status

Widespread but local in Britain.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 6 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