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Lesser Water-plantain

Baldellia ranunculoides

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:
Alismataceae (Water Plantain)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Ditches, marshes, ponds, water, wetland.

White, 3 petals
Each flower is about 1 to 1.5cm in diameter and is white or pale lilac. Flower stalks have one or two umbels and each contains up to 5 flowers.
The buttercup-like fruit is green and globular.
A perennial aquatic species with submerged strap-like leaves and long, narrow airborne leaves. Long-stalked. Usually found growing in still, shallow, peaty, fresh water.
The leaves smell of coriander when crushed.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Baldellia ranunculoides, also known as lesser water-plantain, is a species of flowering plant in the family Alismataceae. It has slender dark-green leaves and produces umbels of three-petalled flowers in shades of pale pink and lilac. The plant is native to the Britain and Europe, and is typically found in wetland areas such as marshes, ditches and ponds. In addition to its ornamental value, Baldellia ranunculoides is also a valuable food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.


Lesser Water-Plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides) is an aquatic plant that is native to Europe and Asia. This plant is a popular ornamental species and can be found growing in water gardens, ponds, and marshes. The Lesser Water-Plantain is a member of the Alismataceae family, which is also known as the water-plantain family.

The Lesser Water-Plantain has beautiful, light green leaves that are rounded and have a heart-shaped base. These leaves grow in a rosette pattern and are supported by long, slender stems that can reach up to 50 centimeters in length. The plant produces delicate, white flowers that bloom in the summer and have three petals each. These flowers are small but numerous, and they add a touch of grace and beauty to any water garden or pond.

In terms of care and maintenance, the Lesser Water-Plantain is relatively easy to grow. The plant prefers a sunny location and needs to be planted in water that is about 20-30 centimeters deep. The plant is also fairly hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and water conditions. However, it is important to note that the Lesser Water-Plantain should not be grown in water that is too deep, as this can cause the stems to become too long and leggy.

The Lesser Water-Plantain is also known to have many ecological benefits. For example, it provides habitat and food for a wide range of aquatic animals, such as frogs, dragonflies, and water birds. Additionally, the plant helps to maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and pollutants from the water.

In conclusion, the Lesser Water-Plantain is a beautiful and hardy aquatic plant that is easy to grow and has many ecological benefits. If you're looking to add some color and life to your water garden or pond, the Lesser Water-Plantain is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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