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Lemna
DUCKWEED

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: ARUM FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb, [shrub, vine], terrestrial [growing on other plants or not], or aquatic, sometimes free-floating, then sometimes much reduced, in dense, clonal populations, 0.4--10 mm, flat and tongue-shaped to spheric, not differentiated into stems and leaves, new plants produced in budding pouch at base or along margins, sometimes overwintering on bottom as dense, rootless, starch-filled daughter plant (winter bud); often from short, generally erect caudex; roots 0--many; often monoecious. Stem: sometimes above ground in addition to caudex, or not differentiated from plant body. Leaf: simple or compound, basal (or cauline, 2-ranked), or not differentiated from plant body. Inflorescence: generally spike, fleshy, generally ill-smelling, or flower 1, rarely seen, minute, appearing like 2--3 unisexual flowers, often sheathed by minute membrane; flowers bisexual or pistillate below, staminate above; bract subtending spike 1, generally showy (petal-like), generally > spike, sheathing or not. Flower: perianth parts 0, 4, 6, free or fused; stamens 0--4, 6, free or fused; ovary superior to 1/2-inferior and sunken in inflorescence axis, chambers 1--3, stigma +- sessile. Fruit: berry or achene-like, winged or not. Seed: 1--many, often ribbed.
Genera In Family: +- 114 genera, 1850 species: generally tropics, subtropics some cultivated for food, ornamental in ponds, aquaria (Colocasia, taro) or ornamental (Philodendron, Anthurium). Note: Since TJM (1993), including Lemnaceae, and except Acorus, now in Acoraceae (the sole member in California, Acorus calamus L., is an historical waif). Pistia stratiotes L. is a waif. Pinellia ternata (Thunb.) Breitenbach possibly naturalized in California. In taxa once included in Lemnaceae, vein number per plant body best determined using backlight.
Unabridged Note: Since TJM (1993), including Lemnaceae, except Acorus, now in Acoraceae (the sole representative of the family in California, Acorus calamus, judged to be an historical waif in California and therefore here except). Incl smallest of all known angiosperms (Wolffia globosa) as well as world's most massive inflorescence (spike of Amorphophallus titanum, Titan Arum, to 4 m in circumference). Needle-like crystals in most tissues cause intense irritation when chewed; those of Dieffenbachia, dumb-cane, may induce temporary speechlessness. Incl of fossil evidence in cladistic analyses indicate Lemnaceae and Pistia form a monophyletic group within Araceae (Stockey et al.), a position now generally accepted (see Les et al.). Pinellia ternata (Thunb.) Makino ex Breitenbach introduced, possibly naturalized in California. Taxa formerly included in Lemnaceae may be very invasive. In taxa formerly included in Lemnaceae, vein number per plant body best determined using backlight. Peltandra virginica (L.) Schott & Endl., included in TJM (1993), reportedly spread from ornamental pool introduction in 1970 to nearby reserviors, but degree of reproduction or even persistence there unknown.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Lemna
Habit: Plants much reduced, not differentiated into stems, leaves; floating aquatic; root generally 1, generally 2--6 mm, sheath near base generally not winged. Plant Body: generally in 2s to 8s; generally 2--5 mm, flat, generally widely elliptic to oblong, pale to dark green, often +- red; veins 1--5; winter buds generally 0. Inflorescence: flowers in 2 lateral pouches, sheathed by minute membrane. Fruit: generally unwinged. Seed: ribbed, generally smooth between ribs.
Species In Genus: 14 species: worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: lake or swamp) Note: Lemna obscura (Austin) Daubs. [Lemna minor L. var. obscura Austin] excluded.
eFlora Treatment Author: Wayne P. Armstrong
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Key to Lemna

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Citation for this treatment: Wayne P. Armstrong 2016. Lemna, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=10563, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 03, 2016.


Lemna minuta
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© 2012 Barry Rice
Lemna trisulca
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Lemna minuta
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Lemna gibba
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Lemna trisulca
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Lemna minuta
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer

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