Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Water Lettuce - Pistia stratiotes   L.
Members of Araceae:
Only member of Pistia in NC.
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Section 5 » Order Arales » Family Araceae
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DistributionDocumented first from Carteret County in 1996 by R. Bolser at a pond in a condo development. In 2002, P. Diamond collected it at City Lake in Lexington, Davidson County. Expected elsewhere, although the species may not be hardy this far north.

Native of the tropics and apparently southern FL. Scattered records in the southern states.
AbundanceVery rare.
HabitatImpoundments, artificial ponds.
IdentificationWater Lettuce is a good name, as the floating rosettes of broad leaves resembles a small head of lettuce. The leaves are strongly parallel-veined, and are somewhat squared off at the apex.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
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B.A. SorrieOxbow lagoon of Amazon River, Iquitos, Peru. 2015. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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