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Scientific name: Alisma plantago-aquatica
Water-plantain is an aquatic plant of shallow water and muddy banks. In bloom over summer, it displays tall branches of loosely clustered, pale lilac flowers.

Top facts


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

June to September


Water-plantain is a long-stalked, tall, aquatic plant that is often found in shallow water or along the muddy banks of slow-moving watercourses. It is in bloom from June to September, displaying small, pale lilac flowers and thin, branching stems. These stalks become hardy and woody once the flowers have died. Like other aquatic plants, it offers resting and sheltering places for aquatic insects like caddis flies and alder flies.

What to look for

Water-plantain has oval leaves with long stalks and parallel veins, and small, pink-tinged flowers that sit in loose clusters on branching stems.

Where to find

Found throughout the UK, but scarcer in North Scotland.

Did you know?

The flowers of Water-plantain are open in the afternoon and early evening, attracting small flies.