Pistia stratiotes L.

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Pistia stratiotes

Photo: Mark Hyde
10, Sandringham Drive, Alexandra Park, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names: Nile cabbage (English) Water lettuce (English)
Status: Introduced.
Free-floating aquatic herb. Leaves in a rosette, densely velvety; base cuneate; apex truncate to emarginate; primary veins prominent, parallel. Inflorescences small, hidden among the leaves. Flowers unisexual; perianth segments absent. Fruit a small dehiscent berry.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In slow flowing or stagnant waterbodies, often forming extensive floating colonies to the exclusion of most other plants.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1200 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread throughout the tropics.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 15 August 2008

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 49. (Includes a picture).

Gibbs Russell, G.E. (1977). Keys to Vascular Aquatic Plants in Rhodesia Kirkia 10(2) Page 462.

Haigh, A. & Boyce, P. (2012). Araceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(1) Pages 46 - 48. (Includes a picture).

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Page 24. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 85.

Mayo, S.J. (1985). Araceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 66 - 68. (Includes a picture).

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 29. (Includes a picture).

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Page 506. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 114.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 180.

Other sources of information about Pistia stratiotes:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Caprivi: Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Malawi: Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Mozambique: Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Zambia: Pistia stratiotes
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Pistia stratiotes

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Pistia stratiotes
African Plant Database: Pistia stratiotes
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Pistia stratiotes
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Pistia stratiotes
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Pistia stratiotes
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Pistia stratiotes
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Pistia stratiotes
JSTOR Plant Science: Pistia stratiotes
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Pistia stratiotes
Plants of the World Online: Pistia stratiotes
Tropicos: Pistia stratiotes
Wikipedia: Pistia stratiotes

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Pistia stratiotes.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=112070, retrieved 15 June 2024

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