Scientific name

Glossostigma Wight & Arn.

Common names

mud mat



Could be confused with

Lilaeopsis, Marsilea, Regnellidium

Native distribution

Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa

Species commonly cultivated

Glossostigma diandra (L.) Kuntze (Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa)

G. elatinoides Benth. (Australia, New Zealand)

Adventive distribution

Glossostigma diandra is introduced into the northeastern United States.

Weed status

Not generally considered weedy in its native range. Glossostigma diandrum was the subject of a Pest Alert by USDA-APHIS in the late 1990s due to the east coast invasion. Molecular analyses indicate this species may have actually been G. cleistanthum. Both of these species are declared noxious weeds in the state of Washington (United States).


small, amphibious, stoloniferous plant, forms dense mats

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Very small. Stems stoloniferous, creeping, rooted at nodes. Leaves opposite or occasionally whorled, sessile or petiolate, linear to spatulate; margin entire. Inflorescence a minute, solitary flower borne on axillary pedicel; sepal tube bell-shaped, lobes 3-4; petals 5, white to pink or purple. Dispersal by stem fragments or seeds.

Natural habitat

shallow water and wet ground

Additional comments

A genus with five species; only two are presently cultivated. Glossostigma elatinoides has four stamens and a four-lobed calyx, while G. diandra has two stamens and a three-lobed calyx. Usually used as a foreground plant in aquaria.