FLIP: Florida Invasive Plants

Pistia stratiotes

Common Name(s): Water lettuce


Africa or South America

 Ecological Impact

May form mats that can disrupt aquatic plant and animal communities, as well as interfere with water movement and navigation. 


A floating aquatic plant that has the ability to form large dense mats.  Leaves are rosette in shape and gray-green in color, hairy, ridged and are broader than long.  Flowers are inconspicuous and fruit is a many-seeded green berry. 

Identification Tips

Resembles a head of lettuce.  Very thick leaves appear to have scalloped edges.


Observed in the St. Johns River around 1928 (Langeland and Burks, 1998).

Florida Range

Found throughout the state of Florida; mainly central and southern parts. 

Prevention/Management Strategies

Do not plant or release into water gardens or natural waterways. Check watercraft propellers and trailers for plant material before and after entry into waterways. 

For more information visit Protect Your Waters.


Most photos courtesy of the Atlas of Florida Plants; click for additional plant details.

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Florida Invasive Plants