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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Araceae
Subfamilia: Lemnoideae
Genus: Wolffia
Species: W. angusta – W. arrhiza – W. australiana – W. borealis – W. brasiliensis – W. columbiana – W. cylindracea – W. elongata – W. globosa – W. microscopica – W. neglecta

Wolffia Horkel ex Schleid., 1844

Type Species: Wolffia michelii Schleid.


Horkelia Rchb. ex Bartl., Ord. Nat. Pl.: 76 (1830).
Grantia Griff. ex Voigt, Hort. Suburb. Calcutt.: 692 (1845).
Bruniera Franch., Billotia 1: 25 (1864).


Horkel, J. 1844. Beitr. Bot. (Schleiden) 1: 233


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Wolffia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 11. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Wolffia. Published online. Accessed: Nov. 11 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Wolffia in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 11. 2018. Wolffia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 11.

Vernacular names
čeština: Drobnička
Deutsch: Zwergwasserlinse, Wasserlinse
English: watermeal, duckweed
eesti: Lemlik, Volfia
suomi: Vesilinssit
français: Wolfie

Wolffia is a genus of nine to 11 species which include the smallest flowering plants on Earth. Commonly called watermeal or duckweed, these aquatic plants resemble specks of cornmeal floating on the water. Wolffia species are free-floating thalli, green or yellow-green, and without roots. The flower is produced in a depression on the top surface of the plant body. It has one stamen and one pistil. Individuals often float together in pairs or form floating mats with related plants, such as Lemna and Spirodela species. Most species have a very wide distribution across several continents. Wolffia species are composed of about 40% protein on a dry-matter basis, about the same as the soybean, making them a potential high-protein human food source. They have historically been collected from the water and eaten as a vegetable in much of Asia.
An 1885 illustration of Wolffia arrhiza

As of 2020, eleven species are accepted on Kew's Plants of the World Online:[1]

Wolffia angusta Landolt
Wolffia arrhiza (L.) Horkel ex Wimm.
Wolffia australiana (Benth.) Hartog & Plas
Wolffia borealis (Engelm.) Landolt
Wolffia brasiliensis Wedd.
Wolffia columbiana H.Karst.
Wolffia cylindracea Hegelm.
Wolffia elongata Landolt
Wolffia globosa (Roxb.) Hartog & Plas
Wolffia microscopica (Griff.) Kurz
Wolffia neglecta Landolt


"Wolffia Horkel ex Schleid". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 22 October 2020.

Treatment:Lemnaoideae, Wayne P. Armstrong, from The Jepson Manual
Wolffia Horkel ex Schleid, a USDA Plants Profile
The Duckweed Genome Project from Rutgers University
Armstrong, W. (2005). "Wayne Armstrong's treatment of the Lemnaceae". Palomar Community College District. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
Cross, J.W. (September 6, 2008). "The Charms of Duckweed". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
Landolt, E. (1986) Biosystematic investigations in the family of duckweeds (Lemnaceae). Vol. 2. The family of Lemnaceae - A monographic study. Part 1 of the monograph: Morphology; karyology; ecology; geographic distribution; systematic position; nomenclature; descriptions. Veröff. Geobot. Inst., Stiftung Rübel, ETH, Zurich.

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