Alphabetical Plant Listing

Alisma plantago-aquatica (European Water Plantain)

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


Alisma plantago-aquatica (European Water Plantain) is a robust aquatic perennial forming rosettes of long-stalked, lance-shaped, gray-green leaves to 12 in. in length (30 cm), often splashed with purple. In late spring and throughout the summer, very fragrant, forked, white to very pale pink flowers with rounded tips and smooth or jagged edges, are borne in tall panicles. There are arranged in whorls that form large conical-shaped clouds of white or pink. The long-lasting flowers provide a focal point that gives the pond depth and interest. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, European Water Plantain is found on mud or in fresh waters of lakes, rivers, and brackish water bays especially on grazed shores, ditches, ponds.

  • Grows up to 30 in. tall (75 cm) and 18 in. wide (45 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in poorly-drained soils. Will grow in standing water to 12 in. deep (30 cm).
  • A charming addition to pond areas, water gardens.
  • Deadhead regularly in order to prevent problems from self-seeding.
  • Check where this plant is invasive.
  • Propagate by seed sown as soon as ripe or by rhizome division in spring.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Native to Europe and Asia from Portugal and Morocco to Japan, Kamchatka and Vietnam. It is also regarded as native in northern and central Africa as far south as Tanzania.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 5 – 8
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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Superior National Forest, Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 5 – 8
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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