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Family: Hydrocharitaceae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Alismatales

Freshwater or marine herbs. Eighteen genera and about 116 species (cosmopolitan), with six genera and 13 species native to southern Africa and three genera and three species naturalised in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Glen (2000) and Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Blyxa

One species native to southern Africa - Blyxa aubertii - recorded from Mozambique.

 

Halophila

A total of nine species, native to warm seas around the world. Halophila ovalis occurs in coastal waters from KwaZulu-Natal to Knysna in the Western Cape. It grows on soft sand or muddy substrates and is a favourite food of the Dugong.

 

Hydrilla

One species native to southern Africa - Hydrilla verticillata - recorded from Mozambique.

 

Lagarosiphon

Nine species, native to tropical Africa and Madagascar, with five species native to southern Africa. Lagarosiphon major has become naturalised in Europe and New Zealand.

 

Ottelia

A total of 21 species, native to the tropics and subtropics, with four species native to southern Africa.

Vallisneria

Four species, native mainly to the tropics and subtropics, with one species, Vallisneria spiralis, native to southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, KwaZulu-Natal).  

 

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

List from Glen (2000).

Egeria

The two species are native to subtropical and temperate South America. Egeria densa has become naturalised in southern Africa and is a declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa.  

Elodea

Elodea canadensis (Canadian water weed, Kanadese waterpes) is a declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa.  

Limnobium

Recent record of Limnobium laevigatum (Amazon frogbit, West Indian sponge-plant) growing on Lake Chivero, Zimbabwe.

Elodea canadensis (Canadian water weed, Kanadese waterpes) is a declared Category 1 invasive plant in South Africa.

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2000. Hydrocharitaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 619-621. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

 

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