Stratiotes

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Stratiotes

 

a genus of dioecious aquatic herbs of the family Hydrocharitaceae. The single species, the water soldier (5. aloides), is a submerged perennial that rises to the surface only at flowering time. The ensiform leaves, whose margin has spiny teeth, form large rosettes. The large, unisexual flowers have three white petals. The pistillate flowers are for the most part solitary; the staminate flowers are in inflorescences. The fruit is a berry. The water soldier is characterized by intensive vegetative reproduction. The plant occurs in Europe, Ciscaucasia, and Western Siberia; it is found in stagnant or sluggish waters, often forming an extensive thick cover. The leaves are sometimes used as fertilizer and pig feed.

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