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CYMODOCEACEAE

MANATEE-GRASS FAMILY

Robert F. Thorne

Perennial from long, slender, jointed rhizomes, dioecious, marine aquatic, glabrous
Stem erect, sometimes short
Leaves simple, cauline, alternate or opposite, 2-ranked; sheath open; ligule present; blade 0.5–15 mm wide, ± linear, ± flat or cylindric, margin entire
Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 (or bracted cyme), axillary
Flowers minute; perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 2, filaments 0 or short and ± fused; pollen filament-like, sticking together in string-like bodies < 1 mm wide
Pistillate flower: pistils 1–2, simple, ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 1, lobes 0–3
Fruit: utricle
Seed 1
Genera in family: 5 genera, ± 13 species: tropical, subtropical worldwide.

HALODULE


Stems erect, several, short
Leaves alternate to ± opposite, narrowly linear; tip generally 3-toothed
Flowers 1 per node, ± enclosed by leaf sheaths
Staminate flower: anther sacs attached to filament at different places
Pistillate flower short-stalked; pistils 2, simple, attached to receptacle at slightly different places, ovary asymmetric, style 1, simple, thread-like, from side of ovary
Species in genus: 1–2 species: tropical, subtropical marine
Etymology: (Greek: perhaps from ancient name meaning under salty water)
Poorly known except to students of algae. Sometimes treated in Zannichelliaceae.

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