Press Release

IFI publishes first ever Irish book on aquatic plants

  • Over 400 species featured in Aquatic Plants in Ireland-A Photographic Guide
  • Aquatic environments vulnerable to threats posed by biodiversity loss, climate change and invasive species spread
Flowering rush Pickerelweed Yellow Water-lily

Book front cover

Tuesday, December 19th, 2023: Inland Fisheries Ireland has published a first ever book on aquatic plants, featuring 401 different Irish river, lake, and pond plant species.

The 576-page Aquatic Plants in Ireland-A Photographic Guide identifies flora in freshwater habitats across the country - using concise text, and more than 1,200 full colour photographs and diagrams.

Irish book on aquatic plants

Yellow Water-lily

Dr Ronan Matson, co-author and Research Officer at Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), commented: “Aquatic environments are particularly vulnerable to threats posed by biodiversity loss, climate change, and the spread of invasive species. 

“The first step in mitigating their impact is to accurately identify the species that exist within these fragile ecosystems.

“This comprehensive Irish aquatic plant encyclopedia is unique. And in it the diversity of our lakes, reservoirs, ponds, canals, rivers, streams, ditches, bog pools, and wetlands, are more than matched by the diverse plant species that call these habitats home.”

Irish book on aquatic plants


Aquatic Plants in Ireland-A Photographic Guide also includes a number of invasive alien plant species that are rapidly expanding their range in, and along, Ireland’s watercourses - and having serious adverse effects on native habitats and biodiversity. 

The guide was funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland, with support from INVAS Biosecurity Ltd, and compiled by three experienced Irish field ecologists–Prof. Joe Caffrey, Dr Ronan Matson, and Dr Rossa Ó’Briain.

Dr Matthew Jebb Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland added: “This new book, at last, fills a genuine gap in the literature.

“It allows the specialist and non-specialist to identify practically every aquatic plant species that grows in, or alongside, Ireland’s freshwater habitats.”

The broad ecology of plant species is summarised - and maps also illustrate their national distribution. 

The full-colour publication costs €40 for the softback edition, and €70 for the hardback version, excluding postage.

Members of the public who would like to purchase Aquatic Plants in Ireland-A Photographic Guide can contact Dr Ronan Matson of IFI, via:

Irish book on aquatic plants

Flowering rush