Alisma plantago-aquatica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Alismatales Alismataceae

Scientific Name: Alisma plantago-aquatica
Species Authority: L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Water-plantain
French Alisma Plantain d'Eau
Spanish Llantén de Agua
Alisma plantago-aquatica ssp. michaletii Asch. & Graebn.
Taxonomic Notes: Although there is some uncertainty regarding the taxonomy of populations close to A. plantago-aquatica in Asia, these do not affect evaluation of the species in Europe.

Plants with the leaves similar to that of A. plantago-aquatica, styles as in A. gramineum and 0.2-0.3 mm long undeveloped anthers are known from Orenburg Region (basin of the Ural and Samara Rivers). Apparently this is the result of hybridization of A. plantago-aquatica × A. gramineum and possibly sterile. These are known as A. ×bjorkqvistii Tzvel. (Tzvelev 2001). This hybridisation is not sufficiently frequent to affect evaluation of the species.

A. plantago-aquatica is reported to hybridise occasionally with A. lanceolatum (A. ×rhicnocarpum Schotsm.) but this is not sufficiently frequent to affect evaluation of the species in Europe.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-02-27
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Smith, K.
This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This is a widespread species, found from northern Europe to Africa and southeast Asia. It occurs from Europe east through the Caucasus, the Middle East, Siberia, Kazakhstan, the Himalayas and Mongolia to the Russian Far East, China, Japan, the Korean Peninsula, as well as Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. It may be present in northern Lao PDR but this needs to be confirmed.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burundi; China (Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Isle of Man; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Japan; Jersey; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); Rwanda; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sudan; Sweden; Switzerland; Thailand; Turkey; Ukraine (Krym); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland); Viet Nam
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range. There is no detailed information available on population size.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

A. plantago-aquatica is a herbaceous perennial amphibious Helophyte. It occurs mainly in the lowlands and will grow in most mesotrophic to eutrophic wetland types, from the margins of streams and rivers, to lakes, ponds and marshy pools, as well as some artificial habitats such as canals and ricer fields. It is a good colonist and will often form extensive and locally dominant stands in recently excavated pools on basic clays.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

It is widely used as an ornamental plant for outdoor water features in northern Europe. Its root and leaves are used for medicinal purposes as an antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, and hypotensive in Viet Nam.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known past, ongoing, or future threats to this species

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place and none are needed.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Alisma plantago-aquatica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T164129A43116701. . Downloaded on 26 April 2017.
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