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Potamogeton crispus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Potamogetonaceae

See text

The Potamogetonaceae, commonly referred to as the pondweed family, are an aquatic family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. The roughly 120 species are spread across six genera. The largest genus in the family by far is Potamogeton, which contains about 100 species.

The family has a subcosmopolitan distribution, and is considered to be one of the most important angiosperm groups in the aquatic environment because of its use as food and habitat for aquatic animals.[2]


The Potamogetonaceae are currently placed in the early diverging monocot order Alismatales by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.[1] Their concept of the family includes the plants sometimes treated in the separate family Zannichelliaceae, but excludes the genus Ruppia. So circumscribed, the family currently consists of six genera: Althenia, Groenlandia, Lepilaena, Potamogeton, Stuckenia, and Zannichellia,[3] totalling about 120 species of perennial aquatic plants.


The plants are all aquatic perennial herbs, often with creeping rhizomes and leafy branches. Their leaf blades can be either floating or submerged, and their stems are often joined. No stomata are present on the leaves. The flowers are tetramerous: the floral formula (sepals; petals; stamens; carpels) is [4;0;4;4]. The flowers have no petals. The fruit consists of one to four drupelets or achenes.[4]



  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" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  2. ^ Haynes, R. R. 1975. A revision of North American Potamogeton subsection Pusilli (Potamogetonaceae). Rhodora 76: 564--64
  3. ^ Nunes, E.L.P., de Lima, M.C., Coan, A.I., de Chiara Moco, M.C. (2010). Contribution to the embryology of Potamogeton L. (Alismatales, Potamogetonaceae). Aquatic Botany, 93: 32-38.
  4. ^ Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. (1992 onwards). The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 21 March 2010. http://delta-intkey.com/angio/www/potamoge.htm

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