Stratiotes aloides

Botanical Name : Stratiotes aloides
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Stratiotes
Species: S. aloides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms: S. aculeatus; S. aquaticus; S. ensiformis; S. generalis

Common Names: Water Soldier / Water Pineapple

Habitat :Stratiotes aloides is native to Europe, this plant can be found growing in ponds, slow moving water, and lakes, especially in within areas of Great Britain.   found in Europe and NW Asia.  In Britain it was once common in East Anglia and still is in many places, particularly wet ditches and healthy ponds.

Description:
Stratiotes aloides is a naturally floating plant that sinks during the Fall and Winter months in the wild. During the summer, as water temperatures rise, this plant will float to the top with dark green leaves and white flowers  just emerging from the water.  The leaves are approximately 1 inch (0.5 cm) wide, and can extend up to 9 inches (4 cm) long.  From the above, the leaves bloom out in a spikey formation, similar to a Pineapple.
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In aquariums, Stratiotes aloides will usually stay submerged due to the warmer tank conditions.  The foliage will take on a bright green coloration, and its long leaves emerge in a rosette form that will flow gently in the current.
It is a moderate demanding plant that requires bright light and regular water column fertilization in order to thrive. It prefers soft water, but can grow in slightly harder water.

Once established the plant will develop small little plantlets from the center of its rosette. These young plants can be split away from the parent plant to propagate the species.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb has had a high reputation for treating wounds, especially when these are made by an iron implement. It is applied externally. The plant is also said to be of use in the treatment of St. Anthony’s Fire and also of bruised kidneys.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratiotes_aloides
http://www.aquascapingworld.com/plantpedia/full_view_plant.php?item_id=56&plant=Water%20Solider
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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