Narrowleaf Water-plantain (Alisma gramineum) Interesting Facts

Narrowleaf Water-plantain Featured Image

Alisma gramineum is a tiny aquatic plant that belongs to the water-plantain family.

This plant has a few common names, such as:

  • Narrowleaf Water-plantain
  • Ribbonleaf Water-plantain
  • Ribbon-leaved Water-plantain
  • Grass-leaved Water-plantain

You can find this plant in muddy areas or under shallow fresh or brackish water in marshy places.

Description of Narrowleaf Water-plantain

Leaves and Flowers

The leaves and small purple-tinted white flowers of Narrowleaf Water-plantain can be underwater or not.

When the flowers grow underwater, they are cleistogamous. This means they stay closed and self-pollinate. When the flowers grow above water, they open up.

The leaves above the water are stiff and wide. The leaves underwater are ribbon-like and soft.


Narrowleaf Water-plantain can reproduce in two ways:

  • By seed
  • From the division of the corm

The fruit of this plant is a ring of dry nutlets.

Distribution and Habitat

Narrowleaf Water-plantain is found in many parts of the world. It’s widespread across temperate and subarctic areas of Asia, Europe, and North Africa.

You can find it from France and Libya to China and Yakutsk. In North America, it’s found in much of Canada and the United States.

However, this plant is endangered and protected in the United Kingdom. It was first found in Britain in 1920 and later by the River Glen in Lincolnshire.

The populations at both sites are small and change in size from year to year.

Where Does Narrowleaf Water-plantain Grows?

This plant usually grows in shallow, nutrient-rich water at the edge of bodies of water and fenland drains.

It’s an annual plant or a short-lived perennial. The seeds of Narrowleaf Water-plantain can stay viable for some years.

They sometimes germinate after the ground has been disturbed.

You can check out what this plant looks like over here.

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Alisma gramineum
Also Known As:Narrowleaf Water-plantain, Ribbonleaf Water-plantain, Ribbon-leaved water-plantain, Grass-leaved Water-plantain
Conservation Status:Data Deficient

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