- Approximate size: up to 45cm (18 inches) across
- Flowering time: June to August
- Flower colour: White
This impressive British native floating plant consists of a large rosette of serrated, spiky leaves, which look a little like those of an aloe or a spider plant. Young plants have softer, more bushy leaves, and these stiffen as the plant matures. It floats with the top of its leaves emerging from the water, and its crown just submerged. Like most floating plants, it can float freely but will grow better if it can get its long thin roots into some silt on the bottom of the pond. One or two small white flowers are borne on long thin erect stems in summer, and new plants are produced on runners from the main plant. Although a large plant when mature, its rate of growth is slow.
In the winter the leaves soften and the plant sinks to the bottom of the pond, returning to the surface as temperatures rise in early summer. For this reason we do not sell water soldiers in the cold months of the year, when they would naturally be resting on the bottom.
Not recommended for ponds in Ireland, where it is not native.
If designing a planting scheme, we recommend approximately 1 Stratiotes aloides plant per 1 - 2 square feet of water surface. Read more here on how to pot and care for your plant.