A picture of a Water Plantain

Water Plantain

Alisma plantago-aquatica

Also known as

Deil's Spoons, Mad Dog Weed, Thumbwort, American Waterplantain, European Water Plantain

Alisma plantago-aquatica 1 (5097844384) by Superior National Forest (CC BY 2.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Water Plantain

A close up of the basal clump of a Water plantains green leaves.
A close up of the broad oval shaped green leaf of a water plantain.

Water Plantain Overview

This rhizomatous, aquatic, deciduous perennial has rosettes of pointed, grey-green leaves. In late spring into early summer, it produces tall, whorled panicles of white flowers. Grow at pond margins in water up to 30cm deep in full sun. The best-known species of the genus. Its heart-shaped leaf blades are up to 25 cm long and the many-branched stems rise to a height of 90 cm. The early summer flowers are white and are held in long-stemmed, open panicles; each one is 1.5 cm in diameter.

How to harvest Water Plantain

Generally not harvested.

How to propagate Water Plantain


Divide tuber-like rhizomes in late spring.


Sow seed as soon as ripe in trays or pots half submerged in shallow trays or water.


Special features of Water Plantain

Wet sites

Other uses of Water Plantain

Aquatic, bog gardens, marshes. The leaves and sometimes roots have been used in traditional medicine for many ailments such as epilepsy and cystitis.

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