Abstract Understanding As accumulation in plants is necessary in order to alleviate problems with As in the environment and to improve sustainable As phytotechnologies. To find suitable candidates for phytoremediation purposes and to investigate specific accumulation patterns due to growth habitat and plant groups, As accumulation in 124 plant species collected from different habitats and speciation in 6 of these plant species, was determined. The data show that submerged plants have a higher accumulation than emergent and terrestrial plants. The As concentration in terrestrial and emergent plants were correlated with the [As]soil, while the accumulation factor correlated negatively with [As]soil. Gymnosperms had a high [As]shoot:[As]root ratio. The inorganic As species, arsenate and arsenite were found in plants from all habitats and methylarsonic acid (MMA) in all but one plant species. Arsenate predominated in submerged plants. The results suggest that the habitat and the [As]soil have a strong influence on the As accumulation in plants and that submerged plants and/or gymnosperms might be suitable for phytoremediation of As.