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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    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
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).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 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: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Panicularia fluitans

Plant Habitats

 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].

References   More on Edible Uses

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


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

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Historic Staple  Management: Standard  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].

Carbon Farming

  • Historic Staple  These crops were once cultivated but have been abandoned. The reasons for abandonment may include colonization, genocide, market pressures, the arrival of superior crops from elsewhere, and so forth.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

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

Native Range

TEMPERATE ASIA: Turkey (north), Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia (Ciscaucasia), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia EUROPE: Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Russian Federation (European part), Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Russian Federation (Saratov, Volgogradskaja oblast), Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Italy (incl. Sardinia, Sicily), Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, France (incl. Corsica), Portugal AFRICA: Algeria (north), Morocco, Tunisia

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Glyceria acutifloraCreeping mannagrassPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHNWeWa10 
Glyceria borealisSmall floating mannagrassPerennial1.5 0-0  LMHSNWeWa20 
Glyceria occidentalisNorthwestern mannagrassPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNWeWa10 
Glyceria plicata Perennial0.8 -  LMHSNWeWa10 
Glyceria septentrionalisEastern Manna Grass, Floating mannagrassPerennial1.5 0-0  LMHSNWeWa10 
Glyceria striataFowl Manna Grass, Fowl mannagrassPerennial1.5 0-0  LMHSNWeWa10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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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