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Pistia stratiotes Linnaeus. Water Lettuce. Hab: Stagnant or slow-moving waters of rivers, sometimes cultivated in ponds, where it persists for a while (presumably eventually eliminated by cold winters in the more northern parts of our area). Dist: Native in a wide area across the Paleotropics and Neotropics, including in North America at least peninsular FL; it has been sometimes considered an alien and noxious waterweed in FL but evidence strongly supports its nativity there (Evans 2013). Reported for AR (Serviss & Serviss 2023a). This floating aquatic appeared in the Waccamaw River of SC (downstream from NC) in 1990 and 1991, apparently successfully overwintering (Nelson 1993).

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Synonymy: = ETx1, FNA22, GW1, Il, K1, K3, K4, NcTx, NY, S, S13, Tx, Va, WH3, Spaulding et al (2019); = n/a – C, F, RAB, Tat

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: OBL
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: OBL
  • Great Plains: OBL
  • Midwest: OBL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: OBL

Heliophily: 8

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Pistia stratiotes, Withlacoochee River, Sumter County, Florida 3 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷


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