State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Alisma plantago-aquatica L.

  • Alisma plantago-aquatica subsp. michaletii Asch. & Graebn.
Vernacular Name
Common Water-plantain, European Water-plantain, Mad-dog Weed
Conservation status
Value of species
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. Occurrence: Ab(A), AE(G), Ag, Al, Au(A, L), Be(B, L), BH, Bl(M), Br, Bu, By, Cg, Co, Cr, Cs, Ct, Da, Eg, Es, Fe, Ga(C, F), Ge, Gr, Hb(E, N), He, Ho, Hs, Hu, IJ, It, La, Li, LS, Lt, Lu, Ma, Mo, No, Po, Rf(C, E, K, N, NW, S), Rm, Sa, Si(M, S), Sk, Sl, Sr, Su, Tn, Tu(A, E), Uk(K, U) (EuroMed, 2018). This is a widespread species. It is found in locations from northern Europe to Africa and southeast Asia. It ranges from E Europe through the Caucasus, to 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 also be present in northern Lao People's Democratic Republic but this needs to be confirmed. According to Samuelsson (Arkiv Bot. 24A, 7 (1932) distribution in the North American Continent is limited to the subsp. brevipes; generally A. plantago-aquatica which is now considered a single taxon. This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range. There is no detailed information available on population size, though it will often form extensive and locally dominant stands in recently excavated pools on basic clays. A. plantago-aquatica is an amphibious and herbaceous perennial Helophyte. It occurs mainly in lowlands (though in Ethiopia it grows to altitudes of 2500 m) 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 rice fields. It is a good coloniser and will often form extensive and locally dominant stands in recently excavated pools on basic clays.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
    View source
  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail:

Taxonomic branch