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A picture of a Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce

Pistia stratiotes

Also known as

Water Cabbage, Nile Cabbage, Tropical Duckweed, Shell Flower, Waterbonnet

Pistia stratiotes0 by [1] (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


This plant has no fragrance

More images of Water Lettuce

A close up of some green Pistia stratiotes plants
A close up of some yellow cream Pistia stratiotes flowers
a group of Pistia stratiotes plants in some water
Some green Pistia stratiotes plants in some water
A water surface covered in green Pistia stratiotes plants

Water Lettuce Overview

Pistia stratiotes is a semi-evergreen, perennial water plant in the arum family, Araceae. It looks like a small lettuce that floats on the surface of the water, hence the common name Water Lettuce. It is a popular pond plant and the sole species in the genus Pistia. 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. The leaves do not possess stems and measure approximately 14cm in length, they have parallel veins and wavy leaf edges. This species is dioecious and thus produces male and female flowers on individual plants.

Special features of Water Lettuce

Attractive leaves

Wet sites

Other uses of Water Lettuce