Family Overview - Arales
Lemnaceae - the Duckweed Family
Diversity: Floating or submerged aquatics found in or on freshwater habitats throughout the world. The family includes about 6 genera and about 29 species.
Distribution: Worldwide with extensive species level distributions mediated by migratory birds. We have 5 genera and 17 species in Texas.
Floral structure - imperfect, reduced to the max:
Significant features: The smallest
flowering plants adapted, via extreme reduction (no stem,
root), for occupation of surface water (maximum light, minimum
competition). This adaptive syndrome includes algal-like
vegetative reproduction via clonal
'budding' of the plant body or thalus
with sexual reproduction very rare.
this family and the Araceae is similar to other family pairs we
examined - Monotropaceae and Ericaceae (Ericales) and Convolvulaceae
and Cuscutaceae (Solanales) - in that the affinity between the
families is clear and the smaller element represents an extreme of
that are evident among taxa of the larger.
Fruit and Floral Structure:
More information on the Lemnaceae