Different Types of Aquatic Plants

Last Updated: 19.10.2023
Dhruvdeep Singh
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Meet Dhruv, a writer and nature lover from Amritsar, Punjab, who fell in love with gardening during the lockdown. With a B.Tech in Computer Science and over four years of writing experience, he brings a tech-savvy perspective to gardening. Dhruv's articles are a journey into the world of plants, offering exciting adventures for fellow nature enthusiasts.

Here’s a list of Different Types of Aquatic Plants classified according to their growing habits that will help you to pick the best one out as per your needs!

Aquatic plants dwell in water bodies, like lakes, ponds, seashores, or other reservoirs. Though all aquatic plants thrive in water, yet there is an imperative difference in their growth habits. Let’s have a look at the Different Types of Aquatic Plants!

Here are the best Aquatic plants you can grow in India 

Different Types of Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants have been classified according to the position of roots, stems, and leaves in the water.

1. Floating Leaves

Types of Aquatic Plants

Freshwater, salty lakes, and ponds are the most common habitat of floating leave plants. The leaves of these plants are quite wide and float over the water surface to receive maximum sunlight exposure.

Their roots are submerged for absorbing water and they are usually small in size.

Examples: Pondweed, Waterlily

2. Free Floating Aquatic Plants

These plants float atop the water surface and feature broad leaves and stems that are connected with neighboring plants for creating a broad network of free-floating plants. The plants can move or shift under the influence of winds and waves.

Like other plants, these aquatic types produce seeds and generally thrive in water bodies with negligible to no water movement.

Examples: Water Lettuce, Watermeal, Duckweed, Water Hyacinth

3. Submerged Aquatic Plants

Types of Aquatic Plants 2

Most of the vegetative activity of Submerged Aquatic Plants occurs inside water. The roots are attached to the bottom, whereas the leaves are narrow and slender. These plants grow in the water with depth less than 10 feet, while some have been spotted in water with 20 feet depth as well.

Examples: Hydrillas, Bog moss

4. Emergent Aquatic Plants


Like aquatic plants, the roots of emergent plants are also attached to the bottom of the waterbody. But, on contrary, their vegetative growth occurs above the water surface. These plants need constant sunlight for better growth and survival.

Most parts like leaves and flowers float above the water surface for photosynthesis and pollination (via wind or insects). These aquatic plants thrive in wetlands and shorelines with a depth of 4-5 feet.

Examples: Knotweed, Redroot, Purple loosestrife, Cattail

Significance of Aquatic Plants

The aquatic plants balance the ecology in water bodies. For instance, they elevate the quality of water, reduce the toxicity in water bodies, and works as natural water purifiers in lakes, ponds, and aquariums.

These plants also reduce erosion in the water bodies. Moreover, certain aquatic plants are also popular for culinary purposes like wild rice, water caltrop, and Indian lotus (makhana).

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