Hippuris eschscholtzii Cham. ex Lam.
Hippuris fluitans Lilj. ex Hising.
Hippuris melanocarpa Semenova
Hippuris montana Ledeb. ex Rchb.
Hippuris spiralis D.Yu
Common Name: Common Marestail
Hippuris vulgaris is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a creeping rootstock and forming a cluster of unbranched stems 10 - 150cm long, or even longer in running water[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is cultivated as an ornamental in ponds.
Hippuris vulgaris is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats in the majority of its range. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2014)[
Found through most of the Temperate zone, especially in the northern Hemisphere
Pond margins, ditches etc, preferring base-rich water[
]. Stagnant and slow-running waters, small water bodies, bogs (European alder, cottongrass and sedge), solonchakous places, muddy lake shores;
at elevations up to 5,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The species typically occurs in permanent rivers, ponds and lakes that are usually more than 100cm deep and have fairly deep beds of soft sediment rich in organic matter[
]. The plant requires a wet soil or shallow water, preferring one that is base-rich[
]. Dislikes shade.
Plants have a spreading root system and can be very invasive[
Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked[
]. Used to make soups[
]. They are best harvested from autumn to spring, even the brown overwintered stems in spring can be used[
The whole plant is an effective vulnerary, the juice being taken internally or applied externally[
Seed. We have no details on this species but suggest sowing it as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The plant spreads vegetatively so vigorously, however, that you probably won't have to worry about growing it from seed.
Division in spring. Division is very easy and can be carried out at any time in the growing season. The divisions can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.