Pontederia L.

Pontederia natans P.Beauv.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Africa.


Pontederiaceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:1. 1968

Morphology General Habit
Aquatic herb with floating upper leaves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers purplish with yellow spot
In pools and streams.


Pontederiaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

Morphology General Habit
Floating aquatic herb with branched stems, sometimes rooting in the bottom soil.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, of two kinds:submerged leaves sessile, linear, acute, (2–)3–6.5(–10, fide F.T.A.) cm. long, (l–)2–3 mm. broad; floating leaves petiolate, ovate or orbicular, obtuse or rarely acute at the apex, cordate with small rounded overlapping lobes, minutely pustulate above, 1.3–3 cm. long, 1–2 cm. wide; true petioles 4–10 cm. long; stipules from 2 mm. in the submerged leaves to 3.2(–5) cm. long in the floating leaves, membranous, obtuse, sheathing the stem.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences 1-flowered, shortly pedunculate, arising from a tubular membranous obtuse spathe ± l.3(–2) cm. long, apparently arising from below the middle of the petioles of the floating leaves but actually terminating short lateral 1-leaved branches of the main stem.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Perianth somewhat irregular, blue or mauve (see note); lobes small, obovate, up to 4.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide; tube 1.0–1.2 cm. long, elongating after anthesis to 2.2 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 6, unequal, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style long and filiform.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule narrowly fusiform, 1.0–1.2 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds numerous, oblong with many very fine longitudinal ribs, to 1 mm. long.
Fig. 2, p. 5.
Stagnant pools in swamps, etc.; 1080–1300 m. (in Uganda)
U1 U3 W. Africa to the Congo and Sudan Republics, Zambia, Rhodesia, Angola, South West Africa, Madagascar

Native to:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Pontederia natans P.Beauv. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Oct 1, 2010 Cheek, M. [11784], Cameroon Eichhornia natans K000339804 No
Duke, B.O.L. [2], Gambia Eichhornia natans 15208.000 No

First published in Fl. Oware 2: 18 (1810)

Not accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Eichhornia diversifolia.]


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(2): 1-94. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Jongkind, C. (2014). Fauna & Flora of Liberia, flowering plant species list
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
  • Timberlake, J.R. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2010). Flora Zambesiaca 13(2): 1-83. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Plants and People Africa

    Common Names from Plants and People Africa
    © Plants and People Africa