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Family: Pontederiaceae — pickerel-weed family

Species in the family Pontederiaceae are aquatic herbs that may be free-floating or rooted in mud. The emersed leaves usually consist of a basal sheath, a distinct stalk (i.e., petiole), and an expanded blade, but one species has flaccid, frequently submersed, grass-like leaves. The flowers vary from solitary to arrayed in inflorescences and may be zygomorphic (i.e., bilaterally symmetrical) or actinomorphic (i.e., radially symmetrical). They have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. The tepals are blue, purple or white, are fused at the base, and have one or two spots on the upper tepal in some species. There are 3 or 6 stamens and the ovary has 1 style with a 3- to 6-lobed stigma. The fruit is a capsule or achene.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key