Alisma plantago-aquatica

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Water-plantain


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.

How to identify

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 it

Grows everywhere in the UK, but less common in the north of Scotland.

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and development, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: add native plants and flowers, such as Water-plantain, to a wildlife-friendly pond and its margins, and provide shelter for amphibians and nectar for insects. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Height: up to 1m
Conservation status