Water soldier

Stratiotes aloides L.


  • Photo credit: © Richard Lansdown
  • Stratiotes aloides L. – Water soldier
  • Description: It is a freshwater floating plant with rosettes of sword-shaped serrated leaves. Female plants occur in Great Britain, and produce a single 3-petalled white-slightly pink flower. It becomes covered in calcium carbonate in autumn and sinks, before re-emerging in spring with new growth. It can reproduce vegetatively, meaning it can spread to new habitats.

© Lukáš Mareš

  • Origin and Worldwide Distribution: It is native to temperate Asia and Europe. It is deemed invasive in Northern Ireland, the United States and Canada.
  • Potential or Known Impacts: It may alter water chemistry, which may harm aquatic fauna and flora. It is also known to spread vegetatively and may form large monoculture stands/mats. Its serrated leaves may injure recreational water users, and others who handle the plant.
  • How did it/could it get here? It may have been introduced as garden plant, and could have been introduced to the wild by garden escapes or by intentional releases.
  • Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland? It is found in Northern Ireland in Fermanagh. It has also been recorded in Ireland.
  • Methods for Prevention Ensure that it is not spread from already invaded areas. Ensure that equipment is checked, cleaned and dried before putting into another body of water. Do not transplant from one area to another, including a privately owned pond. Record it here on CEDaR.
Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland