Ceratophyllum L.
  • Sp. Pl. 2: 992. 1753. (1 May 1753)
  • Hornwort, cornifle [Greek ceratos, horn, and phyllon, leaf]

This taxon is accepted by Ceratophyllaceae
Notes: More details could be found in The Plant List v.1.1. Originally in The Plant List v.1.0

General Description

Morphological characters and geographical distribution are the same as those of the family.

Plants , submersed perennials. Stems suspended or anchored by branches buried in substrate; branches 0-3 per node. Leaves 3-11 per whorl, cauline; petiole inconspicuous. Leaf blade simple or forked into linear-filiform, denticulate segments. Inflorescences extra-axillary, alternating with leaves. Flowers: bracts basally connate, foliaceous; pedicel less than 1 mm or essentially absent. Staminate flowers: anther 2-locular, connective projecting as apical appendage. Pistillate flowers: ovary tapering to persistent, spinelike style; ovule pendulous. Achene ellipsoid, moderately compressed, surface smooth or tuberculate, basal or marginal spines (or both) present or absent, terminal spine present, marginal wing present or absent. x = 12, 19, 20.


Características de la familia.

1. Hojas maduras 1 ó 2 veces furcadas, gruesas, dentículos conspicuos; margen del aquenio sin alas ni espinas ... C. demersum

1. Hojas maduras 3 ó 4 veces furcadas, textura fina, dentículos inconspicuos; margen del aquenio con un ala espinosa ... C. muricatum ssp. australe

Submerged aquatic herbs; stems branching; roots wanting. Leaves verticil- late, flat, dissected, sometimes serrate. Inflorescences of solitary or clustered flowers in the leaf axils. Flowers unisexual, the calyx many segmented, the sepals basally united, the staminate flowers with about a dozen erect, subsessile sta- mens, the pistillate flowers with a single superior ovary, locule 1, ovule 1, the

placentation parietal, the style slender. Fruit a nut exserted from the perianth, the style persistent.

The only genus of the family.


Characters of the family.





Fassett, N. C. 1953. North American Ceratophyllum. Comun. Inst. Trop. Invest. Ci. Univ. El Salvador 2: 25-45. Herendeen, P. S., D. H. Les, and D. L. Dilcher. 1990. Fossil Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae) from the Tertiary of North America. Amer. J. Bot. 77: 7-16. Jones, E. N. 1931. The morphology and biology of Ceratophyllum demersum. Stud. Nat. Hist. Iowa Univ. 13: 11-55. Les, D. H. 1985. The taxonomic significance of plumule morphology in Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae). Syst. Bot. 10: 338-346. Les, D. H. 1986. The phytogeography of Ceratophyllum demersum and C. echinatum in glaciated North America. Canad. J. Bot. 64: 498-509. Les, D. H. 1986b. The evolution of achene morphology in Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae), I. Fruit spine variation and relationships of C. demersum, C. submersum, and C. apiculatum. Syst. Bot. 11: 549-558. Les, D. H. 1988b. The evolution of achene morphology in Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae), II. Fruit variation and systematics of the "spiny-margined" group. Syst. Bot. 13: 73-86. Les, D. H. 1988c. The evolution of achene morphology in Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae), III. Relationships of the "facially-spined" group. Syst. Bot. 13: 509-518. Les, D. H. 1989. The evolution of achene morphology in Ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae), IV. Summary of proposed relationships and evolutionary trends. Syst. Bot. 14: 254-262. Lowden, R. M. 1978. Studies in the submerged genus Ceratophyllum L. in the neotropics. Aquat. Bot. 4: 127-142. Muenscher, W. C. 1940. Fruits and seedlings of Ceratophyllum. Amer. J. Bot. 27: 231-233.

Local Names

Hornwort, cornifle [Greek ceratos, horn, and phyllon, leaf]

 Information From

World Flora Online Data. 2017.
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MBG Floras Images
Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
  • B Missouri Botanical Garden
Flora de Panama
Robert E. Woodson, Jr. and Robert W. Schery Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67, No. 4 (1980), pp. ii-xxxiii
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Flora of North America @ efloras.org
'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
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Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
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Plants Of the World Online Portal
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Flora de Nicaragua
WD Stevens, CU Ulloa, A Pool and OM Montiel. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2001
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World Flora Online Data. 2018.
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