Sunday 19 May
Common water-plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)
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Common water-plantain fact file
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Common water-plantain description
Common water-plantain is a stout aquatic herb with oval-shaped leaves, which may be rounded or heart-shaped at the base (4). The pale lilac flowers are borne on a greatly branching inflorescence, and open between 1pm and 7pm each day (2). The curvature of the ribs on the leaves of water plantain was one of the inspirational natural features used by John Ruskin in the development of his theories on gothic architecture; he claimed that they were models of 'divine proportion' (5).
- Alisma Plantain d'Eau.
- Llantén de Agua.
Common water-plantain biologyTop
Common water-plantain range
Widespread throughout much of Britain, but rarer in the north of Scotland, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and Orkney. Elsewhere, it is found in temperate Europe (2), and has become widely naturalised outside of its natural range (3).Top
Common water-plantain habitat
This species is usually found growing at the edge of still or slow-flowing water, as well as in swamps and marshes (3).Top
Common water-plantain status
Common water-plantain is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Common water-plantain threats
This species is not threatened.Top
Common water-plantain conservation
Conservation action is not needed.Top
Find out more
For more information on British plants and their conservation see Plantlife- the wild plant conservation charity:
Visit the website of the Botanical Society of the British Isles at:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- The reproductive shoot of the plant, which bears flowers (see http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/ksheets/pdfs/flower.pdf for a fact sheet on flower structure)
IUCN Red List (June, 2011)
- Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. & Moore, D.M. (1987) Flora of the British Isles. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Preston, C.D., Pearman, D.A. & Dines, T.D. (2002) The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Press, B. & Gibbons, B (1993) Photographic field guide to wild flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.
- Mabey, R. (1996) Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
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