4-22, Sparganiaceae, bur-reed family

Marian C. Munro, Ruth E. Newell, Nicholas M. Hill


The family comprises a monogeneric group of aquatic perennials, totalling 15–20 species of the north- temperate zones. Leaves are long and narrow and may be basal or cauline. Submerged and emerged leaves both have septa. Easily distinguished, they produce a flexuous and sometimes branched inflorescence of persistent burrs; flowers are imperfect. Inflorescence arises from the axil of the bracteal leaf or above, the staminate heads distalmost. Perianth is reduced to 3–6 tepallike scales. Fruits are achenes within a hard bony covering, one seed per locule. Photographs by Martin Thomas and Sean Blaney, Alain Belliveau, Roger Lloyd.


Magnoliophyte, bur-reed family, monocots, Sparganium, bur-reed

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