Elatine

Scientific name

Elatine L.

Common names

waterwort

Family

Elatinaceae

Could be confused with

Hemianthus, Rotala

Native distribution

cosmopolitan

Species commonly cultivated

Elatine ambigua Wight (Asia)

E. gratioloides A. Cunn. (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji)

E. macropoda Guss. (Europe, Africa)

E. triandra Schkuhr (North America)

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

occasionally found in rice fields, but not considered weedy

Habit

submersed or amphibious, attached mat-forming stem plant

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stem ascending or creeping, bearing adventitious roots at basal nodes. Leaves opposite, decussate, sessile; leaf blade ovate to oblong to linear, veins terminating at leaf margin with a small gland; margin entire. Inflorescence of small, solitary flowers borne on short axillary pedicels. Sepals 3, green; petals 3, pink-white. Dispersal by seed and stem fragments.

Natural habitat

clear waters of lakes, rivers, and streams

Additional comments

a genus of 10-20 species with three species rarely cultivated for aquaria