Floating or creeping aquatic herbs, rooting at the nodes. Leaves often of two sorts, the floating or erect ones broad, lanceolate, ovate or orbicular, the submerged ones linear; petioles long, sheathing at the base or sheath produced at apex to form a “stipule”. Flowers solitary or in spikes or panicles arising from a convolute sheath-like spathe or bract, or fasciculate within the leaf-sheath. Perianth funnel-shaped, slightly irregularly divided into 6 lobes, the inner broader than the outer. Stamens 6, the 3 upper included, the 3 lower ± exserted, usually with longer filaments. Ovary 3-locular; ovules numerous; style filiform; stigma entire or very shortly 3–6-lobed. Capsule membranous, 3-locular, enclosed in the faded perianth, ovoid to linear-fusiform. Seeds numerous, oblong or ellipsoidal, finely ribbed.
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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