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Water soldier
Illustration Stratiotes aloides0.jpg
Stratiotes aloides[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Subfamily: Stratiotoideae
Genus: Stratiotes
S. aloides
Binomial name
Stratiotes aloides
  • Stratiotes aquaticus Pall.
  • Stratiotes ensiformis Gilib.
  • Stratiotes aculeatus Stokes
  • Stratiotes generalis E.H.L.Krause
Stratiotes aloides flower

Stratiotes is a genus of submerged aquatic plant commonly known as water soldiers,[3] described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753.[4][5] Several specific names have been coined within the genus, but at present only one is recognized: Stratiotes aloides. native to Europe and NW Asia.[2]

formerly included in genus

moved to other genera: Enhalus Hydrocleys Ottelia

  1. Stratiotes acoroides - Enhalus acoroides
  2. Stratiotes alismoides - Ottelia alismoides
  3. Stratiotes nymphoides - Hydrocleys nymphoides
  4. Stratiotes quinquealatus - Ottelia alismoides


The leaves are serrate and very brittle, breaking easily when handled. Reproduction is generally by offsets, which may number five or more per plant. In the UK, male plants have rarely if ever been recorded, although some hermaphrodite flowers have been recorded from more southerly locations. Sexual reproduction is not known to occur. A characteristic of the genus is the habit of the plants rising to the surface at flowering time.


The plant appears to be associated with calcareous waters and there is a suggestion that changing levels of calcium carbonate on the leaves may explain the floating and submerging behaviour.

Stratiotes aloides plants

The rare dragonfly, the Norfolk hawker (Aeshna isosceles), relies on the presence of Stratiotes aloides as a food source for the smaller insects on which it feeds. They are very winter hardy

Fossil record[edit]

Several fossil seeds of †Stratiotes kaltennordheimensis have been extracted from borehole samples of the Middle Miocene fresh water deposits in Nowy Sacz Basin, West Carpathians, Poland.[6]


Stratiotes aloides is commonly used in cool water ponds and aquariums in Europe


  1. ^ 1885 illustration of Stratoides aloides, water soldier from Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomas, Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz. 1885, Gera, Germany
  2. ^ a b "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  3. ^ "Stratiotes". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 535 in Latin
  5. ^ "Tropicos | Name – Stratiotes L." Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  6. ^ Łańcucka-Środoniowa M.: Macroscopic plant remains from the freshwater Miocene of the Nowy Sącz Basin (West Carpathians, Poland) [Szczątki makroskopowe roślin z miocenu słodkowodnego Kotliny Sądeckiej (Karpaty Zachodnie, Polska)]. Acta Palaeobotanica 1979 20 (1): 3-117.

External links[edit]

  • Invading Partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters