A picture of a Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce

Pistia spp.

Also known as

Water Cabbage, Nile Cabbage, Tropical Duckweed, Shell Flower

Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) by Mokkie (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Frequent watering
Half-hardy

H3

RHS hardiness

-5°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

20cm

Max

1m

10cm

Min

50cm

3 years to reach maturity

More images of Water Lettuce

A photo of Water Lettuce
A photo of Water Lettuce
A close up of some yellow cream Pistia flowers
A close up of a green Pistia plant with yellow cream flowers
A photo of Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce Overview

Pistia is a genus with just 1 species of aquatic, semi-evergreen perennial in the arum family, Araceae. It is known as Pistia stratiotes and this species also has the common names of Water Lettuce and Nile Cabbage, amongst others. Flowers are small, yellow-cream in colour and non-showy, leading onto small, green berries. Thick, soft and hairy leaves are arranged in a rosette. This species is dioecious and thus produces male and female flowers on individual plants. It is typically grown for its attractive foliage, it floats on the water surface and is found in almost all tropical and subtropical fresh waterways. Its classed as an invasive species in many locations.

Special features of Water Lettuce

Attractive leaves

Wet sites

Other uses of Water Lettuce

Grown for its aquatic foliage. It is suitable for tropical aquariums and frost free pools.

Green Flowering Summer Plants

A photo of Silver Lady's-Mantle

Silver Lady's-Mantle

Alchemilla conjuncta

Explore all