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Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi

Submerged, rhizomatous, aquatic herbs of saline marshes or brackish waters. Roots fibrous. Leaves filiform, linear, alternate or the involucral ones subopposite, with auriculate sheaths at the base. Flowers 2, small, sessile, one above the other, in a terminal spike; spike at first shortly peduncled and covered by the sheaths of the involucral leaves; peduncle more or less elongated and exposed after anthesis. Flowers ebracteate, bisexual. Perianth none. Stamens 2, opposite each other; anthers sessile, or subsessile extrorse, 2-celled, lobes reniform, separated by the connective. Gynoecium of 4 or more superior free carpels; carpels sessile when young, usually becoming stipitate in fruit; stigma sessile, peltate or umbonate. Ovule solitary, pendulous, campylotropous. Fruitlets indehiscent. Seed pendulous, lacking endosperm.

An unigeneric family of about 3 species found in salty marshes and saline habitats throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Mr. J. E. Dandy (BM), Mr. B. L. Burtt (Edinburgh) and Dr. S. M. H. Jafri for helpful suggestion.

Lower Taxon


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