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Mudmat (Glossostigma cleistanthum)

Mudmat Description: Introduced to the United States as an aquarium plant.

Habit: Herbaceous perennial if submerged or annual if emergent, shallow root system and can form dense mats.

Leaves: Very small, spatulate shaped (having linear bases with broadened tips) and reachs lengths of only 1 to 2 cm.

Stems: Creeping stems grow horizontally just below the soil surface and root along the nodes.

Flowers: If submerged, tiny, cleistogamous (self pollinating) flowers are produced, but if stems are emergent, the plants produce small, bell-shaped, pastel colored flowers on short stalks.

Fruit and seeds: Small capsules are produced that carry seeds. Due to its dense growing habit, thousands of seeds can be produced from one square meter of plants.

Habitat: Native to Australia and New Zealand. Found in fresh tidal marshes or flats, shores of rivers or lakes.

Reproduction: Vegetatively from fragments.

Similar species: May be confused with other small aquatic creeping plants, particularly in the Limosella or Utricularia families.

Monitoring and rapid response: Can spread from fragments so care must be taken to destroy all parts of the plant if hand pulling. Aquatic herbicides might provide some control though little information is known.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center.

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 (

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Glossostigma cleistanthum




Annual, Perennial



USDA Symbol: