by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Jun 2020      ()
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Alisma plantago-aquatica   (Water Plantain)

Alisma plantago-aquatica   (ALISMATACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Alisma plantago-aquatica retrieved from on 2020-Jun-02

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Alisma plantago-aquatica L.
Published in Sp. Pl. 342 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Alisma major Gray
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Alismataceae Vent. (The Water-plantain Family)
3 species from the Alismataceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Water Plantain, Greater Water Plantain, Mad-dog weed

Maltese name(s) :

Biżbula tal-Ilma

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HYDROPHYTE (living only in water)
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:

Pink or Violet

Remarks :

Population of this species is decreasing from the Maltese Islands.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Flooded wetlands, mostly in shallow lakes, river banks and valleys.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Wetland areas and valleys with slow flowing nitrogen-rich water

Botanical Description:

Leaves up to 30 x 12 cm but usually smaller, usually aerial, ovate or elliptic-ovate to lanceolate, mostly subcordate or truncate at the base but sometimes cuneate, more or less rounded but ultimately acuminate at the apex. Petals 3.5-6.5 mm, white or purplish-white. Anthers elliptical. Styles equalling or longer than the ovaries, filiform, more or less erect, stigmatose in the upper 1/8-1/5 of their length. Fruitlets 2-3 mm; lateral pericarp thickish, opaque.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Most of Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

All Europe except the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard archipelago

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A) AE(G) Ag Al Au(A L) Be(B L) BH Bl(M) Br Bu By Cg Co Cr Cs Ct Da Eg Es Fe Ga(C F) Ge Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs Hu IJ It La Li LS Lt Lu Ma Mo No Po Rf(C E K N NW S) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl Sr Su Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U)

Images (11 images)
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-0.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-1.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-2.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-3.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-4.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-5.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-6.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-7.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-8.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-9.
   Alisma plantago-aquatica   -   Image Code: ALSPQ-10.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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