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Nile Cabbage Pistia stratiotes

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
PIS-tee-ah stra-tee-OH-tays
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

A floating aquatic poisonous plant.  Its leaves spread in a rosette on the water surface, that inhibits algae growth.  This spongy, rounded plant has conspicuously indented main veins.  It grows in still waters of ponds, ditches, swamps, and slow-moving streams.

Features feathery roots.  It will starve out algae by blocking light.  It forms large dense mats of plant matter which hinders boating, fishing, and other lake and river activities.

Grows best in spring and fall, when small bunches are scattered on the water surface.  This plant can be invasive; remove unwanted growth.  It can be very invasive in locations with year-round warm temperatures and high humidity.

Feathery type roots dangle downward from the plants, serving as a shelter for fish.

Sometimes used in aquariums.  

Water lettuce is toxic if eaten in large quantities.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#invasive#poisonous#water garden#houseplant#perennial#weed#aggressive#spadix#dense#aquatic#floating aquatic
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#invasive#poisonous#water garden#houseplant#perennial#weed#aggressive#spadix#dense#aquatic#floating aquatic
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pistia
    Species:
    stratiotes
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, USA
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Water Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Inconspicuous fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Insignificant
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous flowers
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    A roughly 10 in. wide rosette of spongy, velvety, deeply veined lime green leaves that are whitish green on the underside.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Intense burning and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat. Nausea vomiting and diarrhea may also occur when eaten in large quantities.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals plus unknown toxins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots