E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Alisma triviale Pursh
American water-plantain (northern water plantain)
Alismataceae (Water-plantain family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7364)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Alisma triviale
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European water-plantain is an introduced emergent wetland species found along stream lake and pond edges that is native to Eurasia. It is now found in North America in Washington, Alaska (USDA 2010) and British Columbia. In British Columbia, it is reported from several locations, mostly in the southern half of the province.

According to the BC Conservation Data Centre (2010) data files "In the past, the native North American species were lumped with this taxon, either as the same species or as variety americanum or triviale... It does appear however that plants with pinkish petals and slightly different styles and anthers are inttoduced plants of the Eurasian A. plantago-aquatica." Plants are up to 1 m in height. Leaves are broadly ovate to broadly lanceolate, flowers and fruits appear in late summer (Flora North America Online 2010).

Species Information

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Perennial aquatic herb from a corm-like stem-base and a fibrous root; stems 20-120 cm tall.
All basal, long-stalked, the blades egg-shaped to broadly lanceolate, 5-15 cm long, 1.5-10 cm wide.
Inflorescence an open, bracteate panicle of long-stalked flowers; petals usually white, 4-6 mm long; sepals green, 2.5-4 mm long.
Achenes, egg-shaped, 2.5-3 mm long.
Despite several monographs on Alisma the taxonomy and nomenclature of the above species still remains confused (see Reveal [1977]).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Shallow ponds, marshes and ditches in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC south of 52degreeN; rare northward; E to NF and S to ME, VA, NE, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Alisma triviale

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 55 636 790
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
200 200 200
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), CDF(1), ICH(1), IDF(4), PP(2), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Alisma brevipes Greene
Alisma plantago-aquatica subsp. brevipes (Greene) Samuelsson
Alisma plantago-aquatica var. americanum Schult.
Alisma plantago-aquatica var. brevipes (Greene) Victorin
Alisma plantago-aquatica var. triviale

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References