Pistia stratiotes

Water Lettuce is the only member of the genus Pistia. It is found in warm, still water or slow-flowing water courses throughout the tropics. It is most often grown on the surface of pools or aquariums in the home. The leaves, forming a very decorative rosette, are a lovely pale green with prominent venation, mainly on the underside. They are thickly covered with whitish hairs. The inflorescence measures 1 cm and is composed of several greenish flowers.

It does well indoors if it is provided with sufficiently warm water – about 20°-25°C (68°-77°F). A flat dish is more suitable than a tall container for growing this plant. In winter it is best to remove the plant from the water and put it in sphagnum moss, which must be kept constantly wet. Propagate by means of the lateral runners or from seed, the former method being quicker.

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