Alisma subcordatum Raf.
American water plantain
Alismataceae (Water-Plantain Family)
Synonym(s): Alisma plantago-aquatica ssp. subcordatum, Alisma plantago-aquatica var. parviflorum
USDA Symbol: alsu
A tall, spindly, many-branched aquatic with small white (rarely pink) flowers in whorls. In this typical emergent aquatic, the lower part is often submerged, while the upper part is exposed. Leaves formed underwater are ribbon-like and soon rot; they are seldom seen on adult plants. The bulb-like base of several species of Alisma was dried and eaten by Native Americans.
Members of the Water-Plantain Family grow in water, in swamps, on muddy banks, or occasionally in wet sand. Each plant has long-petioled leaves in a clump with a flowering stem rising among them. The flowers have 3 green sepals, 3 white or pink-tinged petals, 6 or more stamens, and several pistils. Stamens and pistils may be in separate flowers.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , QC
Native Distribution: Manitoba east to New Brunswick, south to Georgia, west to Texas, and north to North Dakota; also in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Oregon.
Native Habitat: Shallow, freshwater marshes, sluggish streams, ponds, and lakes.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
BenefitUse Food: Submerged root-like structure is edible; it was dried and eaten by First Nations People. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Alisma subcordatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Alisma subcordatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Alisma subcordatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff