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Six-stamened Waterwort

Elatine hexandra

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Elatinaceae (Waterwort)
Also in this family:
Life Cycle:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Mud, ponds, water, wetland.

Pink, 3 petals
Stalked pink flowers with only 3 petals and 6 stamens. 3 green sepals. The similar looking and much rarer plant, Eight-stamened Waterwort has 4 petals and 8 stamens.
The fruit is an elliptical capsule.
Short, narrow, spoon-shaped leaves. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs.
Other Names:
Six-stamen Waterwort.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Elatine hexandra is a species of annual herb in the family waterworts. It is found in wet areas worldwide, and has procumbent leaves that are small and succulent-looking. The flowers are tiny, and the stamens are difficult to see without close examination. Elatine hexandra is considered an endangered species in some parts of the world, and an action plan has been developed to help preserve it. It is also used as an aquatic plant in some areas, often behaving as an ephemeral on exposed, wet mud.


Six-stamened Waterweed: An Overview

Elatine hexandra, commonly known as the Six-stamened Waterweed, is a small aquatic plant that belongs to the Elatine genus and the Onagraceae family. This plant is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa and is found in still and slow-moving waters such as ponds, lakes, and ditches.

Physical Characteristics

Elatine hexandra has an almost stemless growth habit, with only a few centimeters of stem visible above the water surface. The leaves are small, elliptical, and grow in a rosette pattern around the stem. The plant flowers from June to September, producing tiny, yellow flowers with six stamens.

Ecology and Habitat

Six-stamened Waterweed is a hardy and adaptable species that is able to tolerate a wide range of water conditions, from fresh to slightly brackish. It is commonly found in stagnant or slow-moving waters, such as ponds, ditches, and lakes, where it provides habitat for a variety of aquatic insects and small animals. This plant is also a food source for many species of waterbirds and fish, making it an important component of the aquatic food chain.

Cultivation and Management

Elatine hexandra is relatively easy to cultivate, making it a popular choice for aquarists and pond enthusiasts. It can be propagated by seeds or cuttings, and is often used as a cover plant to control the growth of algae and other undesirable aquatic plants.

In addition to its ornamental value, Six-stamened Waterweed has a number of practical applications in aquatic ecosystems. It is known to play a role in water purification, and has been used in constructed wetlands and other water treatment systems to help remove pollutants from the water.


Elatine hexandra, also known as Six-stamened Waterweed, is a small, versatile aquatic plant that provides important habitat for a variety of aquatic species and plays a role in water purification. Its hardy nature, adaptability, and ornamental value make it an attractive choice for aquarists and pond enthusiasts, while its practical applications make it a valuable addition to aquatic ecosystems.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map