Alismataceae Vent.
  • Tabl. Regn. Veg. 2: 157. 1799. (5 May 1799)
  • Water-plantain or Arrowhead Family

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

General Description

Herbs, annual or perennial, rhizomatous, stoloniferous, or cormose, caulescent, glabrous to stellate-pubescent; sap milky. Roots septate or not septate. Leaves basal, submersed, floating, or emersed, sessile or petiolate, sheathing proximally; blade with translucent markings of dots or lines present or absent, basal lobes present or absent; venation reticulate, primary veins parallel from base of blade to apex, secondary veins reticulate. Inflorescences scapose racemes or panicles, rarely umbels, erect, rarely floating or decumbent, whorled (forming racemes) or whorls branching (forming panicles), bracteolate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, if unisexual, staminate and pistillate on same or different plants, hypogynous, subsessile to long-pedicellate; sepals persistent, 3; petals deciduous, 3, delicate; stamens 0, 6, 9, or to 30, distinct; anthers 2-loculed, dehiscing longitudinally; pistils 0 or 6--1500 or more, distinct or coherent proximally, 1-loculed; placentation basal; ovules1--2. Fruits achenes or follicles. Seeds: embryo U-shaped; endosperm absent in mature seed.

Herbs, perennial or rarely annual, aquatic or of marshes, sometimes rhizomatous. Leaves basal, linear, lanceolate, elliptic to ovate or orbicular, or sagittate, with elongated sheathing petioles; principal veins parallel with margins and converging toward apex and connected by transverse veins. Flowers often whorled at nodes of scape forming racemes, panicles, or umbels, pedicellate, actinomorphic, bisexual, unisexual, or polygamous, usually bracteate. Sepals 3, persistent, green. Petals 3, deciduous, usually white, sometimes yellowish. Stamens 3 to numerous, whorled, with elongated filaments; anthers 2-celled, extrorse, opening by longitudinal slits. Carpels 3 to numerous, whorled or spirally arranged, free; ovules 1 to several; style persistent. Fruit a cluster or whorl of laterally compressed achenes, drupelets, or occasionally follicles. Seeds curved, with a horseshoe-shaped embryo; endosperm absent.


Seeds curved, with horseshoe-shaped embryo; endosperm none

Flowers often whorled, racemose or paniculate, bisexual or rarely polygamous, actinomorphic

Perennial or annual marsh or aquatic herbs, erect, or rarely with floating leaves; leaves basal, with elongated petioles sheathing but open at the base and linear-lanceolate to ovate-rounded often sagittate blades, the principal nerves parallel with the margins and converging at the apex of the blade, the transverse nerves often close and parallel

Fruit a bunch or whorl of achenes, rarely dehiscing at the base

Carpels free or rarely united at the base, sometimes in a single whorl; style persistent; ovules solitary or several, basal or on the inner angle

Stamens hypogynous, 6 or more, rarely 3, free; anthers 2-locular, extrorse

Perianth 2-seriate, the outer 3 imbricate, persistent, green and sepal-like, the inner 3 petaloid, imbricate and deciduous or rarely absent



Argue, C. L. 1974. Pollen studies in the Alismataceae (Alismaceae). Bot. Gaz. 135: 338--344. Argue, C. L. 1976. Pollen studies in the Alismataceae with special reference to taxonomy. Pollen & Spores 18: 161--173. Beal, E. O. 1960b. The Alismataceae of the Carolinas. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 76: 68--79. Charlton, W. A. 1973. Studies in the Alismataceae. II. Inflorescences of Alismataceae. Canad. J. Bot. 51: 775--789. Correll, D. S. and H. B. Correll. 1972. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States. Washington. Godfrey, R. K. and J. W. Wooten. 1979. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States: Monocotyledons. Athens, Ga. Haynes, R. R. and L. B. Holm-Nielsen. 1985. A generic treatment of Alismatidae in the Neotropics. Acta Amazôn. 15(suppl.): 153--193. Haynes, R. R. and L. B. Holm-Nielsen. 1994. The Alismataceae. In: Organization for Flora Neotropica. 1968+. Flora Neotropica. 75+ nos. New York. No. 64, pp. 1--112. Rogers, G. K. 1983. The genera of Alismataceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 64: 387--424.

Common Names

Water-plantain or Arrowhead Family

 Information From

Plants Of the World Online Portal
  • A The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Flora Of CHina @
'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  • B Missouri Botanical Garden
Flora of North America @
'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  • C Flora of North America Association
World Flora Online Data. 2017.
  • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
World Flora Online consortium
World Flora Online Data. 2018.
  • E CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).