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Hydrocotyle bowlesioides
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Hydrocotyloideae
Genus: Hydrocotyle
  • Catepha Lesch. ex Rchb.
  • Chondrocarpus Nutt.
  • Glyceria Nutt.
  • Hidrocotile Neck., orth. var.
  • Neosciadium Domin

Hydrocotyle, also called floating pennywort,[5] water pennywort,[6] Indian pennywort, dollar weed, marsh penny, thick-leaved pennywort and white rot,[7] is a genus of prostrate, perennial[8] aquatic or semi-aquatic plants formerly classified in the family Apiaceae, now in the family Araliaceae.[3]


Water pennyworts, Hydrocotyles, are very common.[clarification needed] They have long creeping stems that often form dense mats, often in and near ponds, lakes, rivers, and marshes,[6] and some species in coastal areas by the sea.[9][10]

Simple, with small leafy outgrowth at the base, kidney shaped to round. Leaf edges are scalloped. The leaf surfaces of Hydrocotyle are prime grounds for oviposition of many butterfly species, such as Anartia fatima.
Flower clusters are simple and flat-topped or rounded. Involucral bracts at the base of each flower. Indistinct sepals.
  • Flowering Hydrocotyle leucocephala

    Flowering Hydrocotyle leucocephala

  • Flowering Hydrocotyle vulgaris

    Flowering Hydrocotyle vulgaris

  • Fruits and reproduction
    Elliptical to round with thin ridges and no oil tubes (vitta) which is characteristic in the fruit of umbelliferous plants.[8]
    The prostrate plants reproduce by seed and by sending roots from stem nodes.[11]

    Selected species[edit]

    The genus Hydrocotyle has between 75 and 100 species[12] that grow in tropical and temperate regions worldwide.[8] A few species have entered the world of cultivated ornamental aquatics.[13] A list of selected species:[1][2][3][12][14][15][16]


    Hydrocotyleae grow in wet and damp places in the tropics and the temperate zones.[8]

    Fossil record[edit]

    One fossil fruit of a Hydrocotyle sp. has been extracted from borehole samples of the Middle Miocene fresh water deposits in Nowy Sacz Basin, West Carpathians, Poland.[18]


    1. ^ a b "Hydrocotyle L." African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    2. ^ a b Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "Classification for Kingdom Plantae Down to Genus Hydrocotyle L." The PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    3. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2006-04-02). "Genus: Hydrocotyle L." Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    4. ^ "Hydrocotyle Tourn. ex L." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2022-12-29.[dead link]
    5. ^ "Floating pennywort". Invasive Species. 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
    6. ^ a b University of Florida Herbarium (2005). "Hydrocotyle species". Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Particulars and Photographs. University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    7. ^ M. Grieve (1931). "Hydrocotyle". A Modern Herbal. © Copyright Protected 1995-2008 Botanical.com. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    8. ^ a b c d Flora of China. "Hydrocotyle Linn". Family List. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    9. ^ Aluka. "Hydrocotyle bonariensis Lam. [family UMBELLIFERAE]". African Plants. Ithaka Harbors, Inc. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    10. ^ Klein, Alecsandro Schardosim; Citadini-Zanette, Vanilde; dos Santos, Robson (September 2007). "Florística e estrutura comunitária de restinga herbácea no município de Araranguá, Santa Catarina". Biotemas (in Portuguese). 20 (3): 15–26.
    11. ^ Watson, Mark F. "Hydrocotyle L". Flora of Bhutan. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    12. ^ a b Flora of China. "1. Hydrocotyle Linnaeus". Family List. 14. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    13. ^ "Pennywort, Genus Hydrocotyle". The Aquarium Gardener Series. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    14. ^ Taiwan Plant Names. "Hydrocotyle Linn". Family List. III. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    15. ^ Madagascar Catalog. "Hydrocotyle L." Genus Page. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    16. ^ "hydrocotyle". New Zealand Weeds. Massey University: Institute of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
    17. ^ "Hydrocotyle hydrophila | New Zealand Plant Conservation Network". nzpcn.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
    18. ^ Łańcucka-Środoniowa M.: Macroscopic plant remains from the freshwater Miocene of the Nowy Sącz Basin (West Carpathians, Poland) [Szczątki makroskopowe roślin z miocenu słodkowodnego Kotliny Sądeckiej (Karpaty Zachodnie, Polska)]. Acta Palaeobotanica 1979 20 (1): 3-117.

    External links[edit]