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Common frogbit, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae

See text

Hydrocharitaceae is a flowering plant family including 16 known genera with a total of ca 135 known species (Christenhusz & Byng 2016[2]), that including a number of species of aquatic plant, for instance the tape-grasses, the well known Canadian waterweed, and frogbit.

The family includes both freshwater and marine aquatics. They are found throughout the world in a wide variety of habitats, but are primarily tropical.


The species are annual or perennial, with a creeping monopodial rhizome with the leaves arranged in two vertical rows, or an erect main shoot with roots at the base and spirally arranged or whorled leaves. The leaves are simple and usually found submerged, though they may be found floating or partially emerse. As with many aquatics they can be quite variable in shape – from linear to orbicular, with or without a petiole, and with or without a sheathing base.

The flowers are arranged in a forked, spathe-like bract or between two opposite bracts. They are usually irregular, though in some case they may be slightly irregular, and either bisexual or unisexual. The perianth segments are in 1 or 2 series of 2–3 free segments; the inner series when present are usually showy and petal-like. Stamens 1–numerous, in 1 or more series; the inner ones sometimes sterile. pollen grains are globular and free but in the marine genera (Thalassia and Halophila) – the pollen grains are carried in chains, like strings of beads. The ovary is inferior with 2–15 united carpels containing a single locule with numerous ovules on parietal placentas which either protrude nearly to the centre of the ovary or are incompletely developed. Fruits are globular to linear, dry or pulpy, dehiscent or more usually indehiscent and opening by decay of the pericarp. Seeds are normally numerous with straight embryos and no endosperm.

Pollination can be extremely specialised.

The most recent phylogenetic treatment of the family recognizes four subfamilies. [3]
























Some species have become established ornamental plants, and subsequently serious weeds in the wild (especially Egeria, Elodea and Hydrilla).


Genera crosses (Hydrocharitaceae)
Kubitzki (ed. 1998[7]) data.kew[8] APWeb (mobot.org)[9] Watson & Dallwitz (delta-intkey)[10]
1. Ottelia Ottelia Pers. (including Benedictaea Toledo, Boottia Wall.) (excludes Oligolobos Gagnep.) Ottelia Persoon (including Benedictaea Toledo, Boottia Wallich, Oligolobos Gagnepain, Xystrolobus Gagnepain) Ottelia
2. Stratiotes Stratiotes L. Stratiotes L. Stratiotes
3. Hydrocharis Hydrocharis L. Hydrocharis L. Hydrocharis
4. Limnobium Limnobium Rich. (including Hydromystria G.Mey. Limnobium Richard (including Hydromystria G. Meyer) Limnobium
5. Blyxa Blyxa Noronha ex Thouars (excludes Enhydrias Ridl.) Blyxa Richard (including Enhydrias Ridley) Blyxa
6. Apalanthe Apalanthe Planch. (in Elodea Michaux) Apalanthe
7. Egeria Egeria Planch. Egeria Planchon Egeria
8. Elodea Elodea Michx. (including Anacharis Rich., Udora Nutt.) Elodea Michaux (including Anacharis Richard, Apalanthe Planchon, Hydora Besser, Philotria Rafinesque, Serpulica Pursh, Udora Nuttall) Elodea
9. Hydrilla Hydrilla Rich. Hydrilla Richard Hydrilla
10. Appertiella Appertiella C.D.K.Cook & Triest Appertiella C. D. K. Cook & Triest Appertiella
11. Lagarosiphon Lagarosiphon Harv. Lagarosiphon Harvey Lagarosiphon
12. Nechamandra Nechamandra Planch. Nechamandra Planchon Nechamandra
13. Maidenia Maidenia Rendle Maidenia Rendle Maidenia
14. Vallisneria Vallisneria L. Vallisneria L. Vallisneria
15. Enhalus Enhalus Rich. Enhalus Richard Enhalus
16. Thalassia Thalassia Banks ex C.Koenig Thalassia C. Koenig Thalassia
17. Halophila Halophila Thouars Halophila Thouars Halophila
(in Najas, Najadaceae) Najas L. Najas L. (in Najas, Najadaceae)
(name not found) Enhydrias Ridl. (in Blyxa, Hydrocharitaceae) (name not found)
(name not found) Oligolobos Gagnep. (in Ottelia, Hydrocharitaceae) (name not found)
1. Najas (in Najas, Hydrocharitaceae) (in Najas, Hydrocharitaceae) Najas


  1. ^ a b Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x.
  2. ^ Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
  3. ^ Les DH, DH; Moody, ML; Soros, CL (2006), "A reappraisal of phylogenetic relationships in the monocotyledon family Hydrocharitaceae (Alismatidae)", Aliso, 22: 211–230, doi:10.5642/aliso.20062201.18
  4. ^ Tanaka, Norio; Setoguchi, Hiroaki; Murata, Jin (1997), "Phylogeny of the family Hydrocharitaceae inferred from rbcL and matK gene sequence data", Journal of Plant Research, 110 (3): 329, doi:10.1007/BF02524931, S2CID 10939773
  5. ^ Les, DH; Cleland, MA; Waycott, M (1997), "Phylogenetic studies in Alismatidae, II: evolution of marine angiosperms (seagrasses) and hydrophily", Systematic Botany, 22 (3): 443, doi:10.2307/2419820, JSTOR 2419820
  6. ^ Genera of Hydrocharitaceae, GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
  7. ^ Kubitzki (ed.) 1998. The families and genera of vascular plants, vol 4, Monocotyledons: Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  8. ^ Vascular Plant Families and Genera. List of genera in family HYDROCHARITACEAE (accessed 2016-06-02) http://data.kew.org/cgi-bin/vpfg1992/genlist.pl?HYDROCHARITACEAE
  9. ^ VASCULAR PLANT FAMILIES and GENERA. List of Genera in HYDROCHARITACEAE. (accessed 2016-06-02) http://www.mobot.org/mobot/research/apweb/genera/hydrocharitaceaegen.html
  10. ^ Watson & Dallwitz. Hydrocharitaceae. The families of flowering plants. http://delta-intkey.com/angio/www/hydrocha.htm Archived 2009-04-08 at the Wayback Machine

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