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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Saxifragales

Familia: Haloragaceae
Genus: Proserpinaca
Species: P. × intermedia – P. palustris – P. pectinata
Source(s) of checklist:

Proserpinaca L., 1753

Type species: Proserpinaca palustris L.


Trixis Mitch., Diss. Bot. & Zool. 42 (1769)

Native distribution areas:

Continental: America
Alabama, Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil South, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Florida, Georgia, Guatemala, Illinois, Jamaica, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast, Mississippi, New York, Newfoundland, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Uruguay, Vermont, Virginia

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 1–88. Reference page.

Additional references

Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. 2021. The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8, Article number 215. DOI: 10.1038/s41597-021-00997-6 Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Proserpinaca in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 05. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. Oct. Proserpinaca. Published online. Accessed: 05 Oct. 2021. Proserpinaca. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 05.
Hassler, M. 2021. Proserpinaca. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 05. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Proserpinaca in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Vernacular names
English: mermaidweed
suomi: Kampalehdet

Proserpinaca, commonly called mermaidweed,[1] is a genus of flowering plants in the watermilfoil family (Haloragaceae). It is a small genus, comprising only two to three extant species, all of which are native to eastern North America and the West Indies.[2] All species in this genus are found in aquatic or terrestrial wetland habitats.[2]

Proserpinaca can be distinguished from its relative Myriophyllum by having 3 stamens and carpels per flower (as opposed to having 4 or 8).[2]

Two or three extant species are known from this genus, depending on the treatment. They are:[2]

Proserpinaca intermedia - Uncommon in the southeastern U.S.; intermediate in characteristics, and it is unclear if it is best treated as a hybrid
Proserpinaca palustris - Widespread in eastern North America and the West Indies
Proserpinaca pectinata - Native primarily to the Southeast Coastal Plain, with disjunct populations in middle Tennessee

Fossil record

15 fossil fruits of †Proserpinaca ervinii from the early Miocene, have been found in the Kristina Mine at Hrádek nad Nisou in North Bohemia, the Czech Republic.[3] Two fossil fruits of †Proserpinaca previcarpa have been described from middle Miocene strata of the Fasterholt area near Silkeborg in Central Jutland, Denmark.[4]

"Proserpinaca". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
Alan Weakley (2015). "Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States".
A review of the early Miocene Mastixioid flora of the Kristina Mine at Hrádek nad Nisou in North Bohemia, The Czech Republic, January 2012 by F. Holý, Z. Kvaček and Vasilis Teodoridis - ACTA MUSEI NATIONALIS PRAGAE Series B – Historia Naturalis • vol. 68 • 2012 • no. 3–4 • pp. 53–118
Angiosperm Fruits and Seeds from the Middle Miocene of Jutland (Denmark) by Else Marie Friis, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters 24:3, 1985

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