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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Alismatales

Familia: Hydrocharitaceae
Genera: Appertiella – Blyxa – Egeria – Elodea – Enhalus – Halophila – Hydrilla – Hydrocharis – Lagarosiphon – Limnobium – Najas – Nechamandra – Ottelia – Stratiotes – Thalassia – Vallisneria

Hydrocharitaceae Juss. Gen. Pl. 67. (1789)

Type genus: Hydrocharis L. Sp. Pl. 2: 1036. (1753)


Blyxaceae Nakai
Elodeaceae Dumort.
Enhalaceae Nakai
Halophilaceae J.Agardh
Hydrillaceae Prantl
Najadaceae Juss.
Stratiotaceae Schultz Sch.
Thalassiaceae Nakai
Vallisneriaceae Dumort.


Jussieu, A.L. de (1789) Genera Plantarum, 67. 2013. Hydrocharitaceae in The Orders and Families of Monocotyledons. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Sept. 16. 2013. Hydrocharitaceae. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Sept. 16.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Hydrocharitaceae. Published online. Accessed: 16 Sept. 2013.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141(4): 399–436. DOI: 10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.t01-1-00158.x Open access Reference page.
Lohmueller, Friedrich A. The Botanical System of the Plants[1]

Vernacular names
العربية: حب مائية
asturianu: Hidrocaritacees
azərbaycanca: Suboyarkimilər
беларуская: Жабнікавыя
български: Водянкови
català: Hidrocaritàcies
čeština: Voďankovité
dansk: Frøbid-familien
Deutsch: Froschbissgewächse
English: Frog's-bit family, Tape-grass family
español: Hidrocaritáceas
eesti: Kilbukalised
فارسی: تخت‌قورباغه‌ایان
suomi: Kilpukkakasvit
français: Hydrocharitacées
हिन्दी: हाइड्रोचैरिटेसिए
hrvatski: Žabogrizovke
hornjoserbsce: Wódnjankowe rostliny
magyar: Békatutajfélék
日本語: トチカガミ科
қазақша: Сукөріктер тұқымдасы
한국어: 자라풀과
lietuvių: Vandenplūkiniai
Nederlands: Waterkaardefamilie
norsk: Froskebittfamilien
polski: Żabiściekowate
română: Hidrocaritacee
русский: Водокрасовые
slovenčina: Vodniankovité
svenska: Dybladsväxter
తెలుగు: హైడ్రోకారిడే
ไทย: วงศ์สันตะวา
українська: Водокрасові
Tiếng Việt: Họ Thủy thảo
中文(简体): 水鳖科
中文(繁體): 水鱉科

Hydrocharitaceae is a flowering plant family including 16 known genera with a total of ca 135 known species (Christenhusz & Byng 2016 [2]), that including a number of species of aquatic plant, for instance the tape-grasses, the well known Canadian waterweed and frogbit Hydrocharis morsus-ranae.

The family includes both fresh water and marine aquatics. They are found throughout the world in a wide variety of habitats, but are primarily tropical.


The species are annual or perennial, with a creeping monopodial rhizome with the leaves arranged in two vertical rows, or an erect main shoot with roots at the base and spirally arranged or whorled leaves. The leaves are simple and usually found submerged, though they may be found floating or partially emerse. As with many aquatics they can be very variable in shape – from linear to orbicular, with or without a petiole, and with or without a sheathing base.

The flowers are arranged in a forked, spathe-like bract or between two opposite bracts. They are usually irregular, though in some case they may be slightly irregular, and either bisexual or unisexual. The perianth segments are in 1 or 2 series of (2–)3 free segments; the inner series when present are usually showy and petal-like. Stamens 1–numerous, in 1 or more series; the inner ones sometimes sterile. Pollen is globular and free but in the marine genera (Thalassia and Halophila) – the pollen grains are carried in chains, like strings of beads. The ovary is inferior with 2–15 united carpels containing a single locule with numerous ovules on parietal placentas which either protrude nearly to the centre of the ovary or are incompletely developed. Fruits are globular to linear, dry or pulpy, dehiscent or more usually indehiscent and opening by decay of the pericarp. Seeds are normally numerous with straight embryos and no endosperm.

Pollination can be extremely specialised.

The most recent phylogenetic treatment of the family recognizes four subfamilies – Hydrocharitoideae (Hydrocharis, Limnobium), Stratiotoideae (Stratiotes), Anacharioideae (Apalanthe, Appertiella, Blyxa, Egeria, Elodea, Lagarosiphon and Ottelia) and Hydrilloideae (Enhalus, Halophila, Hydrilla, Maidenia, Najas, Nechamandra, Thalassia and Vallisneria).[3]
Hydrilla verticillata
Ottelia alismoides

Some species have become established ornamental plants, and subsequently serious weeds in the wild (especially Egeria, Elodea and Hydrilla).


Genera crosses (Hydrocharitaceae)
Kubitzki (ed. 1998[7]) data.kew[8] APWeb ([9] Watson & Dallwitz (delta-intkey)[10]
1. Ottelia Ottelia Pers. (including Benedictaea Toledo, Boottia Wall.) (excludes Oligolobos Gagnep.) Ottelia Persoon (including Benedictaea Toledo, Boottia Wallich, Oligolobos Gagnepain, Xystrolobus Gagnepain) Ottelia
2. Stratiotes Stratiotes L. Stratiotes L. Stratiotes
3. Hydrocharis Hydrocharis L. Hydrocharis L. Hydrocharis
4. Limnobium Limnobium Rich. (including Hydromystria G.Mey. Limnobium Richard (including Hydromystria G. Meyer) Limnobium
5. Blyxa Blyxa Noronha ex Thouars (excludes Enhydrias Ridl.) Blyxa Richard (including Enhydrias Ridley) Blyxa
6. Apalanthe Apalanthe Planch. (in Elodea Michaux) Apalanthe
7. Egeria Egeria Planch. Egeria Planchon Egeria
8. Elodea Elodea Michx. (including Anacharis Rich., Udora Nutt.) Elodea Michaux (including Anacharis Richard, Apalanthe Planchon, Hydora Besser, Philotria Rafinesque, Serpulica Pursh, Udora Nuttall) Elodea
9. Hydrilla Hydrilla Rich. Hydrilla Richard Hydrilla
10. Appertiella Appertiella C.D.K.Cook & Triest Appertiella C. D. K. Cook & Triest Appertiella
11. Lagarosiphon Lagarosiphon Harv. Lagarosiphon Harvey Lagarosiphon
12. Nechamandra Nechamandra Planch. Nechamandra Planchon Nechamandra
13. Maidenia Maidenia Rendle Maidenia Rendle Maidenia
14. Vallisneria Vallisneria L. Vallisneria L. Vallisneria
15. Enhalus Enhalus Rich. Enhalus Richard Enhalus
16. Thalassia Thalassia Banks ex C.Koenig Thalassia C. Koenig Thalassia
17. Halophila Halophila Thouars Halophila Thouars Halophila
(in Najas, Najadaceae) Najas L. Najas L. (in Najas, Najadaceae)
(name not found) Enhydrias Ridl. (in Blyxa, Hydrocharitaceae) (name not found)
(name not found) Oligolobos Gagnep. (in Ottelia, Hydrocharitaceae) (name not found)
1. Najas (in Najas, Hydrocharitaceae) (in Najas, Hydrocharitaceae) Najas


Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x.
Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
Les DH, DH; Moody, ML; Soros, CL (2006), "A reappraisal of phylogenetic relationships in the monocotyledon family Hydrocharitaceae (Alismatidae)", Aliso, 22: 211–230, doi:10.5642/aliso.20062201.18
Tanaka, Norio; Setoguchi, Hiroaki; Murata, Jin (1997), "Phylogeny of the family Hydrocharitaceae inferred from rbcL and matK gene sequence data", Journal of Plant Research, 110 (3): 329, doi:10.1007/BF02524931, S2CID 10939773
Les, DH; Cleland, MA; Waycott, M (1997), "Phylogenetic studies in Alismatidae, II: evolution of marine angiosperms (seagrasses) and hydrophily", Systematic Botany, 22 (3): 443, doi:10.2307/2419820, JSTOR 2419820
Genera of Hydrocharitaceae, GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
Kubitzki (ed.) 1998. The families and genera of vascular plants, vol 4, Monocotyledons: Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Vascular Plant Families and Genera. List of genera in family HYDROCHARITACEAE (accessed 2016-06-02)
VASCULAR PLANT FAMILIES and GENERA. List of Genera in HYDROCHARITACEAE. (accessed 2016-06-02)
Watson & Dallwitz. Hydrocharitaceae. The families of flowering plants.

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