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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Lemnaceae

3. Lemna Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 970. 1753.

浮萍属 fu ping shu

Fronds free floating on water surface or submersed, 1 to many individual fronds coherent together, green on upper surface, sometimes red on lower surface, symmetric or asymmetric in shape, flat or sometimes gibbous on lower surface; 2 lateral pouches reproducing daughter fronds and flower present at base, bases of pouches not surrounded by a scale; veins 1-5(-7), splitting from node toward apex. Pigment cells absent. Root 1, sometimes dropped off or lacking (Lemna trisulca), surrounded by a short tubular sheath at base and enclosed by a cap at apex. Daughter fronds connected to mother frond by a thin white stipe or a green stalk (L. trisulca). Flower surrounded by small, utricular, membranous scale; stamens 2, 4-locular. Seeds 1-5, longitudinally ribbed.

Thirteen species: nearly cosmopolitan; five (possibly six) species in China.

1 Fronds submersed (except when flowering or fruiting), often forming branched chains, at base narrowed into green stalk, margin denticulate distally.   1 L. trisulca
+ Fronds floating upon water surface, solitary or forming small groups, rounded at base, without green stalk, margin entire   (2)
2 (2) Frond with 1 vein  

L. minuta

+ Frond with 3-5 veins   (3)
3 (2) Root sheath winged at base; root shorter than 3 cm; fronds without reddish color.   5 L. aequinoctialis
+ Root sheath not winged at base; root 0.5-15(-19) cm; fronds sometimes reddish, deep red, or with reddish spots on lower or upper surface   (4)
4 (3) Plants often with small, olive-brown, rootless turions, which sink to bottom.   2 L. turionifera
+ Plants without distinct turions   (5)
5 (4) Fronds with mostly distinct papillae on midline of upper surface; greatest distance between lateral veins near or distal to middle.   2 L. turionifera
+ Fronds with distinct papillae only above node and apex; greatest distance between lateral veins near or proximal to middle   (6)
6 (5) Fronds often reddish or red on lower surface (more intensely so than on upper), flat or slightly gibbous.   3 L. japonica
+ Fronds always green on lower surface, sometimes reddish on upper surface, flat.   4 L. minor

Lower Taxa


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    Photos by The Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Project  
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