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Charles N. Horn & Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, submersed, emergent, floating, or on wet ground. Leaf: simple, alternate or whorled, ± in basal rosette or not; blade linear (especially underwater) to round, sometimes sagittate or cordate, base generally sheathing, veins parallel; petiole inflated or not. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, panicle, or 1-flowered, terminal but often appearing ± axillary, subtended by sheathing bract. Flower: bisexual, radial or ± bilateral; perianth lobes 6 (in 2 series) [3,4], petal-like; stamens 3, 6 (in 2 series) [1,4], from various levels on perianth tube, equal or not, sometimes 3 sterile, modified; ovary superior, 1 or 3-chambered. Fruit: many-seeded, loculicidal capsule [1-seeded utricle]. Seed: < 1 cm, longitudinally ribbed [or not].
± 6 genera, 30 species: most pantropical, some temperate. [Horn 2003 FNANM 26:22–45] Some cultivated as orns, some weeds, especially in rice fields. Pontederia cordata L. <Noxious weed> establishes from garden waste. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Eckenwalder, J.E. and S.C.H. Barrett. 1986. Phylogenetic systematics of Pontederiaceae. Syst. Bot. 11: 373–391.]

Key to Pontederiaceae

Perennial herb [annual], generally free-floating. Stem: stout, erect, often connected by stolons. Leaf: ± in basal rosette; blade generally ovate, round or cordate; petiole inflated or not, generally > blade. Inflorescence: spike [panicle, 1-flowered]. Flower: ± bilateral; perianth funnel-shaped, lobes 6; stamens 6, unequal in length; ovary 3-chambered.
± 7 species: native to America tropics, perhaps Am subtropics, Africa; some widely naturalized. (J.A.F. Eichhorn, Germany, 1779–1856)

E. crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Stem: > 30 cm. Leaf: < 10 cm wide. Inflorescence: 5–15 cm, few- to many-flowered. Flower: perianth lilac or pale blue to white.
Locally abundant. Ponds, sloughs, waterways; < 200 m. Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, Peninsular Ranges; widely naturalized, native to tropical America. Plants multiply, spread rapidly vegetatively; perhaps world's most troublesome aquatic weed. Jun–Oct {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Eichhornia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Eichhornia crassipes
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2006 Louis-M. Landry

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Eichhornia crassipes Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.