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Water soldier (Stratiotes aloides)

Water soldier Common Names: Water pineapple, Water aloe, Water solders

Description: It was likely introduced as an ornamental, however, it can be spread by hitching a ride on recreational vehicles. No confirmed sightings currently in the United States.

Habit: Submerged aquatic plant that becomes buoyant during the summer months. Its roots can be, but are not always, attached to the mud at the bottom. Plants can be found growing in depths of up to 5 meters.

Leaves: 40 cm long, sword-shaped, bright green in color, with sharp spines, and form a large rosette, or group of leaves arranged in a circle.

Flowers: Flowers are white in color with 3 petals, developing into 1 to 3.5 cm long fleshy berries.

Fruit and seeds: Long, fleshy berries containing up to 24 seeds.

Habitat: Native to Central Europe and northwest Asia. It grows well in ponds, lakes and rivers.

Reproduction: Reproduces mainly by vegetative means, as mature plants produce plantlets which detach and are carried downstream to take root in other locations. It also reproduces by seed, which is carried downstream when the plant is submerged.

Impact and Damage: Forms dense mats, crowds out native vegetation, hinders recreational activities.

Similar species: Resembles aloe (Aloe spp.).

Monitoring and rapid response: Avoid infested areas or reduce your speed when traveling by water soldier infestations. Boat wake can dislodge plants and offsets and allow them to spread to new areas. Inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment after each use. Remove all plants, animals and mud before moving to a new waterbody. Avoid planting water soldier in your water garden or aquarium.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program and the Government of South Australia.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (


Priority Species

Common Name:

Water soldier

Scientific Name:

Stratiotes aloides







USDA Symbol:


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