Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, submersed, emergent, floating, or on wet ground
Leaves simple, alternate or whorled, ± in basal rosette or not; blade linear (especially underwater) to round, sagittate or cordate or not, bases generally sheathing, veins parallel; petioles sometimes inflated or 0 (especially underwater)
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, panicle, or 1-flowered, terminal but often appearing ± axillary, subtended by sheathing bract
Flower bisexual, radial or ± bilateral; perianth lobes generally 6, in 2 series of 3, petal-like; stamens equal or not, attached to perianth tube at various levels, 3, 6, (1, 4), sometimes 3 sterile, modified; ovary superior, 1–3-chambered
Fruit: 1-seeded utricle or many-seeded, loculicidal capsule
Seeds small, longitudinally ribbed or not
Genera in family: ± 6 genera, 30 species: most pantrop, some temp. Some cultivated as orns, some weeds, especially in rice fields
Reference: [Rosatti 1987 J Arnold Arb 68:35–71]


Perennial, submersed or emergent
Stems ± erect, connected by rhizomes
Leaf 1 at stem tip; blade ovate to narrowly lanceolate; petiole long
Inflorescence: raceme, 1 at stem tip, eventually reflexed
Flower ± radial; perianth bell-shaped to rotate, tube < 1 cm, parts 6, nearly free; stamens 6, 1 generally > others; ovary 3-chambered
Fruit: capsule
Seeds many, slightly ribbed longitudinally
Species in genus: 6 species: tropical Africa, Asia, ne Australia
Etymology: (Greek: 1 apart, from 1 stamen > others)


M. vaginalis (Burm. f.) Kunth

Stem > 12 cm
Leaf: blade 2.5–11 cm; petiole 4–70 cm
Inflorescence > 5 cm, few-flowered
Flower generally opening under water; perianth blue, parts < 2 cm
Ecology: Uncommon. Rice fields
Elevation: > 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sacramento Valley
Distribution outside California: native to tropical Australia, Asia

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