Plants Found in Water Streams

Plants that live in streams are also referred to as aquatic plants. These plants have adapted to live in water or fully saturated soil. Most aquatic plants are perennials that reproduce by using their flowering parts, also called angiosperms. The leaves of aquatic plants tends to be large and flat to maximize the suns rays.


Buttercup is a perennial plant that produces bright yellow to white flower in April and May. The water crowfoot buttercup grows in water and has two different kinds of leaves. You will find thread-like fine leaves underwater with broad floating leaves on the top of the water's surface. These flowers are toxic to grazing animals and cause severe blistering of the mucus membranes and even death.

Large Bittercress

Large bittercress is a perennial that usually grows up to 2 feet tall. It requires moving water to grow so it is found along streams and creek beds. The bittercress produces large white to pink colored flowers that typically bloom from April to June. The plant thrives in shaded areas with soils that are rich in iron.


The skullcap is a perennial herb that is widely found in the United States in temperate climates along stream beds and in marsh areas. The plant produces blue flowers that appear from July to September. It is an invasive plant and can spread quickly through an area. Skullcap can grow in full sun to partial shade and grows up to 30 inches in height.


Cattails are commonly referred to as Cat-o'-nine-tails. It is a perennial plant that prefers tropical and marsh areas. Cattails bloom from mid to late summer and produce furry, cigar-shaped seed heads, which open in early fall. The grassy type leaves can reach heights of over 9 feet and resemble large blades of grass.

Water Horsetail

The water horsetail is a perennial that grows in bunches in shallow water or along shorelines. It is an invasive plant that can push out other species unless it is contained. Water horsetail can be found growing wild in streams, swamps and along freshwater lakes. The shoots of the water horsetail were once used by Romans to treat kidney problems and ulcers.

Keywords: stream plants, plants in water, water plants

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.