1. Alisma L. (water plantain)
(Björkvist, 1967, 1968)
Plants perennial. Rhizomes 0.5B2.0 cm in diameter.
Leaf blades linear to broadly elliptic or ovate, reduced or absent in submerged
plants. Venation with 1B3 pairs of main veins arcing from near the base
of the midrib and rejoining near the apex, these connected by finer, angled
veins running parallel to one another. Inflorescences erect panicles with
whorled branches. Flowers perfect, subtended by bracts. Sepals ovate,
persistent. Stamens 6, the filaments as long as or longer than the anthers.
Pistils 10B28, in a single ring on the flat receptacle. Styles lateral.
Fruits flattened but not winged, with 1 or 2 parallel grooves along the back.
Nine species, Northern Hemisphere.
In addition to their value as wildlife food
plants, the starchy rootstocks have been cooked in the fall for human