Starfruit Damasonium alisma

Status Red - Endangered & Critically Endangered
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A distinctive water-loving plant with simple, white flowers on short stems, and large, spiky, star-like fruits after flowering.


Formerly found sporadically in southern-central counties of England, it was restricted to three native sites by 1990, two in Buckinghamshire and one in Surrey. Where overgrown or neglected ponds have been cleared, the plant has reappeared in some of its old haunts, although it has not managed to appear continuously from year to year.


It grows in muddy ponds, with its stems sticking up just above the water surface.


Classified as Critically Endangered and therefore considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. In addition it is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Key threats

The disappearance of ponds in pastures where cattle trample the mud as they drink.