Pistia stratiotes

L. 1753

The rosettes can grow up to 40 cm of diameter. It inhabits the tropical and subtropical inland waters.
It is often abundant and in some coutries it is a pest. It is also often cultivated in aquariums.

photos (1-2) © Bartosz T. Zalewski, Botanic Garden Wroclaw 2005
An inflorescence, photos (1-2) © Marek Łodyga/Captor.
Pistia stratiotes in a group and solo.
This photo shows the hairy appearance of the leaf.
The inflorescence is about 1 cm tall, it has only one female flower, and a few males.

Where to spend the winter?

This tropical plant is often cultivated in gardens in ponds, but what to do when the cold days come?
Take a can, then pour loam to about 1/3 of its height, put the plant and cover its roots with next 1/3 of loam.
Then pour water to the top ot the can. Place it at home in a sunny place (the best is a southern window sill) and add the water regularly.
Instead loam you may use grit, but then fertilize it slightly. Don't use sand, the roots may rot.
You may also put it into an aquarium with fishes, yet I don't recommend this.
The temperature in aquariums is usually too high and the light too poor.

page created on 2002-06-01
last updated on 2010-01-19