Ruppia maritima L.
  • L., Sp. Pl.: 127 (1753)
  • beaked tasselweed


This taxon is accepted by WCS higher taxonomy

General Description

Rhizomes very slender to slender. Stems up to 0.4 m, very slender, terete, sparingly to richly branched; nodal glands absent. Submerged leaves (20-)35-115 x 0.35-0.9 mm, 50-210 times as long as wide, bright green, filiform, elliptical in cross-selection, sessile, acute at the apex, the margin denticulate at the apex, otherwise entire and plane; midrib bordered on each side by an air channel, lateral veins absent. Floating leaves absent. Leaf sheaths 5-22 mm, open and convolute, the side from which the leaf arises green, the opposite side hyaline; ligule absent; sheaths of involucral leaves slightly dilated, hyaline when young, becoming brown with age. Turions absent. Inflorescences with 2 flowers c. 1.5 mm apart; peduncles (8-)12-26 mm, 0.5-1.8 times as long as the longest carpel stalk when the fruit is mature, rarely as much as 3.3 times as long in dwarf forms, very slender, terete, straight, slightly recurved, arcuate-recurved or coiled with a single turn. Flowers with 3-5 carpels, the carpels initially with a very short stalk so that they appear sessile at anthesis, the stalk elongating after fertilisation, the stalks of mature fruits 3-35 mm (the longest on each peduncle being (3-)10-35 mm), very slender, terete, straight. Fruits 2.0-2.8 x 1.3-1.8 mm, pyriform, asymmetrical about the longitudinal axis, dark brown, with slightly raised more or less elongated wine-red tubercles on the surface; beak 0.4-0.65 mm, apical, straight.

Slender aquatic with thin horizontal rhizomes rooting in the mud. Stems 10-50 cm. (or more) long and 0.2-0.8 mm. thick (but thicker across the leaf-sheaths, green, slender, filiform, much-branched. Leaves numerous, set all along the plant, usually alternate below, often opposite above; sheath light to medium reddish brown, 5-20 mm. long and 0.7-1.5 mm. wide, somewhat inflated, with a minute or up to 2 mm. long tooth on each side of its orifice; blade 2-15 cm. long and 0.2-0.9 mm. wide, linear-filiform with many small teeth along margin near the acute tip. Peduncles only 5-10 mm. long and 0.2-0.5 mm. thick when flowers open, but occasionally elongating to 6 cm. (rarely more than 2 cm.) after anthesis, straight or more commonly recurved in fruit, but not spirally coiled. Anthers elliptic, 0.5-1 mm. long. Ovaries usually 4, 1-1.5 mm. long, narrowly ovoid with a short stipitate base, which elongates at maturity. Fruits obliquely ovoid with a prominent beak, 2-3 mm. long (excluding stalk) and 1.5-2 mm. wide, medium to dark reddish brown or almost black; stipe 5-10(-30) mm. long and 0.2-0.4 mm. thick, triangular, light reddish brown to dark brown.

Submerged, green or brownish, grass-like aquatic perennial with slender, cylindrical, branched stems. Leaves linear to filiform, gradually narrowed to a fine point. Flowers in a small spike on short, slender, straight peduncles.

Ecology

Ruppia maritima grows in a wide variety of shallow coastal waters, including lakes and ditches, rocky cliff-top pools, creeks and pools in saltmarshes, slowly-flowing streams and tidal estuaries. It is found all round the coasts of Britain and Ireland, and also occurs in brackish water by inland salt deposits near Nantwich and Sandbach in Cheshire (Lee 1977). It is tolerant of a wide range of salinity, growing both in coastal streams which at times are virtually fresh and in ponds which are "brackish, muddy, often slimy and stagnant" (Scott & Palmer 1987). Associated species are usually few, but may include Potamogeton pectinatus and Zannichellia palustris. R. maritima also grows on the muddy flats of saltmarshes, often with Zostera noltii. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that in Poole Harbour such mudflat communities disappeared after Spartina invasion (Hubbard & Stebbings 1968).

Habitat

In pools, springs or ephemeral rivers of low salinity.

HAB. Submerged in alkaline lakes (salt-lakes); 160-800 m.; in other countries even in shallow brackish sea-water

Distribution

Tanzania 1 km. SW. of Lake Lutamba, Lake Nampawara, 2 Nov. 1977, Wingfield 4427!

Namibian coast, Gariep Mouth, Spoegrivier, Lambert’s Bay to Port Elizabeth, cosmopolitan.

Tanzania Ivuna saltpans near S. end of Lake Rukwa, Nov. 1969, Wingfield 545B! & 1 May 1970, R.A Nicholson 165!

Literature

Sp. PL: 127 (1753); P. Graebner in E.P. IV. 11:142 (1907); Obermeyer in F.S.A. 1:71, fig. 20/1 (1966); Podlech in Prodr. Fl. SW.-Afr. 144:4 (1966); F.W.T.A, ed. 2, 3: 18, fig. 323 (1968); F.AC., Ruppiac: 2, t. 1 (1977); Fl. Mascareignes 199:1, fig. (1984).

Distribution Map

 
  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Tanzania
  • Macaronesia Azores
  • Canary Is.
  • Cape Verde
  • Madeira
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Eritrea
  • Socotra
  • Sudan
  • Northern Africa Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Southern Africa Cape Provinces
  • Free State
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Namibia
  • West Tropical Africa Ghana
  • Mauritania
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Equatorial Guinea
  • Zaire
  • Western Indian Ocean Aldabra
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Rodrigues
  • Réunion
  • Asia-Temperate Arabian Peninsula Gulf States
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen
  • Caucasus North Caucasus
  • Transcaucasus
  • China China North-Central
  • China Southeast
  • Hainan
  • Manchuria
  • Qinghai
  • Xinjiang
  • Eastern Asia Japan
  • Korea
  • Nansei-shoto
  • Ogasawara-shoto
  • Taiwan
  • Middle Asia Kazakhstan
  • Tadzhikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Russian Far East Magadan
  • Primorye
  • Sakhalin
  • Siberia Altay
  • Chita
  • Krasnoyarsk
  • Western Asia Cyprus
  • East Aegean Is.
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon-Syria
  • Palestine
  • Sinai
  • Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent Assam
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • West Himalaya
  • Indo-China Myanmar
  • South China Sea
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Malesia Malaya
  • Philippines
  • Australasia Australia New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • Europe Eastern Europe Baltic States
  • Belarus
  • Central European Russia
  • East European Russia
  • Krym
  • North European Russia
  • Northwest European Russia
  • South European Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Middle Europe Belgium
  • Czechoslovakia (Doubtful)
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Northern Europe Denmark
  • Finland
  • Føroyar
  • Great Britain
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Southeastern Europe Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Kriti
  • Romania
  • Sicilia
  • Turkey-in-Europe
  • Yugoslavia
  • Southwestern Europe Baleares
  • Corse
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Sardegna
  • Spain
  • Northern America Eastern Canada New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward I.
  • Québec
  • Mexico Mexico Central
  • Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Northwest
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Northeastern U.S.A. Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Masachusettes
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode I.
  • Northwestern U.S.A. Oregon
  • Washington
  • South-Central U.S.A. Texas
  • Southeastern U.S.A. Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Southwestern U.S.A. California
  • Subarctic America Alaska
  • Western Canada British Columbia
  • Saskatchewan
  • Pacific North-Central Pacific Hawaii
  • Northwestern Pacific Marianas
  • Southwestern Pacific Fiji
  • Gilbert Is.
  • New Caledonia
  • Phoenix Is.
  • Tonga
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Caribbean Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Is.
  • Cuba
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Leeward Is.
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Turks-Caicos Is.
  • Venezuelan Antilles
  • Windward Is.
  • Central America Belize
  • Central American Pacific Is.
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela
  • Southern South America Argentina Northeast
  • Argentina Northwest
  • Chile Central
  • Paraguay
  • Western South America Ecuador
  • Galápagos
  • Peru

Common Names

NameLanguage
beaked tasselweed

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 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Strelitzia 30
http://www.sanbi.org/biodiversity-science/science-policyaction/biodiversity-information-management/sanbi-publishing
Strelitzia 30: Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region volume 2: The Extra Cape Flora. Edited by D.A. Snijman (2013)
  • B All Rights Reserved
  • C
WCS higher taxonomy
  • D All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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
  • E See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.