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Glyceria fluitans - (L.)R.Br.

Common Name Floating Manna Grass, Water mannagrass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shallow water, either stagnant or slow flowing, or in wet soils whether acid or calcareous[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, temperate Asia the Caucasus and N. America.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Glyceria fluitans Floating Manna Grass, Water mannagrass

Glyceria fluitans Floating Manna Grass, Water mannagrass


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Glyceria fluitans is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.


Panicularia fluitans


 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed - raw or cooked[43, 57, 100]. A sweetish taste, the seed was considered a delicacy in some parts of Europe and was an article of commerce until well into the 20th century[183]. A flour from the seed is said to make a bread little inferior to wheat bread, the flour can also be used as a thickener in soups etc when it imparts a sweet delicate flavour[183]. Unfortunately, the seed is very small and therefore the plant is relatively unproductive[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses


The leaves have been burnt as an incense[257].

Cultivation details

Management: Standard;  Historic Staple;  Staple Crop: Balanced carb.

Succeeds in most soils, so long as they are wet, and in shallow water[115]. Dislikes shade. This plant is occasionally cultivated for its edible seed[115], it is not very large and is somewhat fiddly to harvest but is considered to be an epicure's food[183].


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Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse in a pot standing in 3 - 5cm of water. Surface sow the seed, or only just cover it. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in mid to late spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Glyceria acutifloraCreeping mannagrass10
Glyceria borealisSmall floating mannagrass20
Glyceria occidentalisNorthwestern mannagrass10
Glyceria plicata 10
Glyceria septentrionalisEastern Manna Grass, Floating mannagrass10
Glyceria striataFowl Manna Grass, Fowl mannagrass10


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Andreas Emmerling-Skala   Wed Dec 3 16:05:32 2003

There are two important german publications about the history and use of this plant:

Ascherson, Paul, 1895-1896: Eine verschollene Getreideart. - Brandenburgia. Monatsblatt der Gesellschaft für Heimatkunde der Provinz Brandenburg zu Berlin 4: 37-60

Bastine, W., 1963: Brandenburgisches Manna (Glyceria fluitens (L.) R.Br.). Ein Beitrag zur Monographie eines Wildgetreides. - Jahrbuch für Brandenburgische Landesgeschichte [Berlin; ISSN: 0447-2683] 14: 53-71

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Subject : Glyceria fluitans  
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