The APG IV system of 2016 (unchanged from the APG III system of 2009, the APG II system of 2003 and the APG system of 1998) places the family in the order Commelinales, in the commelinid clade, in the monocots. It is a small family of heterostylous aquatic plants, occurring in tropical and subtropical waters. Charles Darwin was interested in the specialized form of heterostyly found in the family, known as tristyly. Not all of the species are heterostylous. The family contains six genera with a total of 34 known species.
It is best known for the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), which is an invasive species in many waterways. The highly modified Hydrothrix gardneri is a submerged aquatic with a two-flowered pseudanthium.
There are 9 genera within this family as below.
- Eichhornia Kunth
- Heteranthera Ruiz & Pav.
- Monochoria C.Presl
- Pontederia L.
- Scholleropsis H.Perrier
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 181 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1111/boj.12385. ISSN 0024-4074.
- 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.