Salviniaceae Martinov
  • Tekhno-Bot. Slovar. 559. 1820. (3 Aug 1820)
  • Floating Fern or Water Spangle 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

Plants small, floating aquatics. Stems creeping, branched, bearing hairs but no true roots. Leaves in whorls of 3, with 2 leaves green, sessile or short-petioled, flat, entire, and floating, 1 leaf finely dissected, petiolate, rootlike, and pendent. Submerged leaves bearing sori that are surrounded by basifixed membranous indusia (sporocarps); sporocarps of 2 types, bearing either megasporangia that are few in number (ca. 10), each with single megaspore, or many microsporangia, each with 64 microspores. Spores of 2 kinds and sizes, both globose, trilete. Megagametophytes and microgametophytes protruding through sporangium wall; megagametophytes floating on water surface with archegonia directed downward; microgametophytes remaining fixed to sporangium wall.

Plants aquatic, forming floating mats; roots present (Azolla) or lacking (Salvinia); stems horizontal, protostelic, vegetative reproduction rapid due to fragmentation. Fronds with exposed upper surface covered with water-repellent papillae, fronds in whorls of 3: two fronds floating, green, lamina orbicular to oblong, small (8-25 mm), third one submersed, finely dissected and rootlike (Salvinia), or fronds alternate, distichous, minute (ca. 1 mm), 2-lobed: one lobe floating, with a cavity near base containing blue-green algae (Anabaena), other lobe submersed, only 1 cell thick (Azolla). Sporangia contained within sporocarps, these inserted on submersed frond and externally uniform (Salvinia) or in pairs with a globose microsporocarp and a smaller ovoid megasporocarp (Azolla); spores of two kinds (plants heterosporous), microspores globose, trilete, megaspores large, spore germination endosporic.


Leaves in whorls of three of which two are entire and floating, and the third submerged and finely dissected into root–like segments, which are thickly covered with hairs; floating leaves papillose

Small floating herbaceous plants

Rhizome horizontal, branched, siphonostelic, without roots

Common Names

Floating Fern or Water Spangle 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
  • 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).