Could be confused with
unlikely to be confused with any other genus
information not available, possibly South America or Africa
Species commonly cultivated
Pistia stratiotes L. (pan-tropical)
most tropical and subtropical regions of the world
noxious weed in numerous countries around the world
floating, stoloniferous rosette plant
Perennial, stoloniferous, free-floating. Leaves in rosette, sessile or short-petiolate; leaf blade obovate, emarginate and sometimes undulate apically, densely pubescent, filled with aerenchyma for floatation, venation parallel. Roots numerous, long, pinnately branched. Inflorescence a small spadix borne on a short, axillary peduncle; spathe green, hairy, tubular below, open above, constricted between male and female parts of spadix; spadix reduced, fused to spathe on one side. Dispersal by seed.
still waters of most water bodies
Pistia is a highly distinctive genus that consists of a single species, P. stratiotes. The origin of Pistia is speculative, with suggestions that it originated in Africa or North America, based on historical records and fossils. Based on the preponderance of insect herbivores that originate from South America that feed on this plant, it is more plausible that this is the actual origin. Pistia is widely traded as a pond plant and under high nutrient conditions can quickly dominate a water body as a dense, floating monoculture.