Description: Submerged dioecious or monoecious aquatic annuals or short-lived perennials with slender rhizomes; often much branched and, in flowing water, may be to 1 m long or, under unfavourable conditions, c. 0.5 cm high.
Leaves alternate or ± opposite when subtending flowers, 1-veined, usually <1 mm wide, with a basal auriculate or ligulate sheath.
Flowers usually unisexual, axillary, solitary but often clustered. Male flower with a reduced perianth of 3 scales or cup-like and a single anther mass either 4- or 12-sporangiate. Female flowers with 3 membranous perianth segments; carpels 3, free; stigma oblique, cylindrical or funnel-shaped.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 6 species, Australia, New Zealand & southern Pacific islands. Australia: 4 species (native), all States except N.T.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stigmas deeply divided (laciniate); male flower with a single 4-sporangiate anther; leaves with apex more or less truncate, sometimes mucronate||Lepilaena bilocularis|
|Stigmas entire; male flower with a 12-sporangiate anther mass; leaves with apex acute to obtuse||Lepilaena australis|