Hippuris

Scientific name

Hippuris L.

Common names

mares-tail

Family

Hippuridaceae

Could be confused with

Ceratophyllum, Hydrotriche, Myriophyllum

Native distribution

Northern Hemisphere

Species commonly cultivated

Hippuris vulgaris L. (Europe, Asia, North America)

Adventive distribution

none

Weed status

occasionally considered weedy in native range due to overgrowth blocking waterways

Habit

submersed and emergent attached stem plant

Brief description

Perennial, creeping rhizome with erect leafy stems. Leaves equally spaced along stem in whorls of 8-15, sessile, obovate to linear, entire. Flowers sessile or subsessile, axillary, either bisexual, unisexual or sterile; sepals and petals greatly reduced to rim above ovary. Dispersal by seed in ‘nuts’ and stem fragments.

Natural habitat

swamps, ponds, and lakes

Additional comments

Three species are known. Hippuris vulgaris is cultivated for ponds and is highly variable geographically.