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Marsh Arrowgrass

Triglochin palustris

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Juncaginaceae (Arrowgrass)
Also in this family:
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Ditches, fields, marshes, meadows, saltmarshes, seaside, swamps, wetland.

Green, 3 petals
A flower spike. The green flowers have purple edges. Individual flowers are up to 3mm wide. Flowers have 3 petals and 6 stamens.
Narrow, erect and arrow-like.
Long and grass-like leaves with deep grooves.
Marsh Arrowgrass gives off a pleasant aroma when bruised.
Other Names:
Slender Arrowgrass, Slender Bog Arrowgrass.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Triglochin palustris, also known as marsh arrowgrass or water pepper, is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It belongs to the arrowgrass family and is known for its small, green flowers and linear, grass-like leaves. Triglochin palustris is a low-growing plant that is often found in wetland or coastal areas. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Triglochin palustris prefers full sun and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as slugs and snails. Triglochin palustris is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


Marsh Arrowgrass (Triglochin palustris) is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Juncaginaceae. It is commonly found in wetland habitats such as marshes, fens, and bogs. The plant is characterized by its long, narrow leaves and small, greenish-white flowers that grow on tall, slender stems.

Marsh Arrowgrass is a vital component of wetland ecosystems. It provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and insects. The plant is also an important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

One of the unique characteristics of Marsh Arrowgrass is its ability to tolerate and thrive in saline soils. This makes it a valuable plant for restoring and preserving salt marshes and coastal wetlands. The plant is also known for its ability to remove excess nutrients from water, making it an effective tool for controlling water pollution.

In addition to its ecological value, Marsh Arrowgrass has also been used for medicinal purposes. The plant has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, fever, and skin irritations.

Despite its ecological and medicinal importance, Marsh Arrowgrass is considered a threatened species in many parts of the world. The destruction and degradation of wetland habitats, as well as pollution and overgrazing, have led to a decline in the plant's population.

Conservation efforts to protect and preserve Marsh Arrowgrass and its habitats are crucial to ensure the survival of this valuable plant species. This can include the protection of wetlands through legislation and conservation programs, as well as efforts to restore degraded habitats.

In addition to its ecological and medicinal benefits, Marsh Arrowgrass also has economic value. The plant is commonly used as a forage crop for livestock, particularly in salt marshes and coastal areas. The leaves and stems of the plant are high in protein and are a valuable food source for cattle, sheep, and horses.

Marsh Arrowgrass is also used in horticulture and landscaping. Due to its tolerance of saline soils, the plant is often used in coastal garden and xeriscape designs. It can also be used in rain gardens and bio-retention systems to control stormwater runoff and improve water quality.

The plant is also an important part of the traditional cultures of many indigenous peoples. In some cultures, the roots of Marsh Arrowgrass are used to make a type of bread, while the leaves and stems are used to make baskets and other woven goods.

Despite its many benefits, Marsh Arrowgrass is facing a number of threats. The destruction and degradation of wetland habitats, pollution, and overgrazing are all major factors contributing to the decline of the plant's population. Climate change is also having an impact, as rising sea levels and increased storm activity are leading to the erosion of coastal habitats.

Another important aspect of Marsh Arrowgrass is its ability to adapt and tolerate different environmental conditions. This makes it a suitable plant species for various conservation projects, such as wetland restoration and mitigation. Marsh Arrowgrass is also used in many phytoremediation projects to clean up contaminated soils and waters.

In addition to its use in conservation projects, Marsh Arrowgrass is also used in research. Scientists study the plant's physiology and ecophysiology to better understand how wetland plants adapt to different environmental conditions, such as changes in water level or salinity. This research can help improve conservation and restoration efforts for wetland habitats and the plant species that depend on them.

Marsh Arrowgrass is also an important species in the field of conservation genetics. Genetic diversity of the species is important for the long-term survival of the species, as it allows the population to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Genetic variation also contributes to the resilience of the species to diseases, pests, and other disturbances.

It is also worth noting that Marsh Arrowgrass is not only restricted to wetlands and marshes, it can also be found in other habitats such as riverbanks, ditches, or even in cultivated land. This wide distribution range makes Marsh Arrowgrass a valuable plant species for a variety of conservation and restoration projects.

To conclude, Marsh Arrowgrass (Triglochin palustris) is a versatile and valuable plant species that plays a crucial role in wetland ecosystems. Its ecological, medicinal, economic, cultural, and adaptability value make it an important species to protect and preserve for future generations. Conservation efforts, including protecting and restoring wetlands, educating the public, and conducting research on the species, are essential to ensure the survival of Marsh Arrowgrass and the habitats it supports.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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