24. Salviniaceae Reichenbach
Floating Fern or Water Spangle Family
Clifton E. Nauman
Plants small, floating aquatics. Stems creeping, branched, bearing hairs but no true roots. Leaves in whorls of 3, with 2 leaves green, sessile or short-petioled, flat, entire, and floating, 1 leaf finely dissected, petiolate, rootlike, and pendent. Submerged leaves bearing sori that are surrounded by basifixed membranous indusia (sporocarps); sporocarps of 2 types, bearing either megasporangia that are few in number (ca. 10), each with single megaspore, or many microsporangia, each with 64 microspores. Spores of 2 kinds and sizes, both globose, trilete. Megagametophytes and microgametophytes protruding through sporangium wall; megagametophytes floating on water surface with archegonia directed downward; microgametophytes remaining fixed to sporangium wall.
Genus 1, species 10 (1 species in the flora): mostly tropical, North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Eurasia, Africa including Madagascar.