Scientific name

Hottonia L.

Common names

water violet, featherfoil



Native distribution

North America, Europe, western Asia

Species commonly cultivated

Hottonia inflata Elliott (North America)

H. palustris L. (Asia, Europe)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

information not available


submersed, emergent-creeping stem plant

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stems elongate, submerged, floating or emergent, sometimes inflated with spongy aerenchyma, rooted in substrate at lower nodes. Leaves alternate or in whorl-like rosettes, sessile; leaf blade pinnate (rarely bi-pinnate). Inflorescence a raceme. Flowers sessile or pedicellate; sepals 5, green; petals fused, lobes 5, white to violet with yellow throat. Dispersal by stem fragments or seed.

Natural habitat

lakes, rivers, and swamps

Additional comments

Genus of two species, both cultivated for the aquarium hobby. Hottonia palustris is more likely to be available. Hottonia inflata has characteristic inflated peduncles subtending the inflorescence.