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The single family of the order Hydrocharitales, characterized by an inferior, compound ovary with laminar placentation.



a family of monocotyledonous plants. They are grasses, wholly or partially submerged in water. The flowers are usually regular, normally trimerous, and sometimes bisexual but more often unisexual (in which case the plants are dioecious). There are three stamens or many; the gynoecia have three to six, more rarely two to 15, carpels; there is an interior ovary. The fruits are mostly berry-like and remain under water. The family comprises about 15 genera and 100 species, which inhabit fresh and marine waters of the temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions.

In the USSR there are six genera and seven species. The best known are water thyme, wild celery, water soldier, and frogbit. Some members of the family are grown in aquariums. Species of the genera Enhalus, Thalassia, and Halophila form extensive underwater thickets in places along the coasts of the Indian, Pacific, and (more rarely) Atlantic oceans. Members of the family Hydrocharitaceae have many diverse adaptations to flowering and pollination; pollination usually occurs under water in freshwater species, and more frequently above water in saltwater species.


Hutchinson, J. The Families of Flowering Plants, 2nd ed., vol. 2. Oxford, 1959.


References in periodicals archive ?
This is a rooted member of the Hydrocharitaceae found in rivers, lakes, and ponds, usually in deep water.
Our primary interest in this article is the Hydrocharitaceae.
We present Lu ronium in this light to show that it is not at all far-fetched to suggest that in other taxa, such as some Hydrocharitaceae, the main framework of the plant body is derived from an inflorescence.
These cases then illustrate how a situation can easily be developed in which an inflorescence can appear in an unusual situation, either within a cymose cluster of flowers or even in place of one; and again this can reflect on some of the arrangements that may be found in the Hydrocharitaceae.
Coming back to the Hydrocharitaceae, a number of detailed analyses have been conducted of the architecture of the shoot system, particularly of freshwater representatives such as Limnobium, Hydrocharis, Elodea, Vallisneria, and Stratiotes (e.
Putting earlier information from other stoloniferous Hydrocharitaceae (e.
The archetypal inflorescence in Hydrocharitaceae seems to be a long internode surmounted by a terminal flower above two bracts, which probably subtend lateral structures (Kaul, 1970), while the stolon of Hydrocharis (Posluszny & Charlton, 1999), Limnobium (Wilder, I 974b), and Stratiotes.
As an intermediate summation, then, in these stoloniferous Hydrocharitaceae a bifurcation product of an axillary complex is capable of giving rise either to an inflorescence, or to a single stolon that is almost certainly equivalent to a sterilized inflorescence, or to a stolon complex that is also apparently equivalent to a sterilized inflorescence but itself produces a number of stolons.
The axillary complexes in the Hydrocharitaceae are themselves very unusual structures.