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. See Check Clean Dry for further information.
  • Do not transplant from one area to another, including a privately owned pond.
  • Record it here on CEDaR.
Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland