Description from Flora of China
Herbs annual, perennial, or subshrubs, semiaquatic or terrestrial, dwarf. Leaves opposite or verticillate, petiolate; stipules paired; leaf blade simple, margin entire or serrate. Flowers solitary, clustered, or in axillary cymes, bisexual, actinomorphic, small. Sepals 2-5, imbricate, free or slightly united, thinly membranous or with nearly pellucid margins. Petals 2-5, imbricate in bud, free, membranous. Stamens 1 or 2 × as many as sepals, free; anthers dorsifixed, 2-loculed. Ovary superior, 2-5-loculed, many ovuled; placentation axile; styles 2-5, free, short; stigmas capitate. Fruit a septicidal capsule, membranous, leathery, or crustaceous. Seeds numerous, straight or curved, small; testa often rugose; endosperm absent.
Zhang Pengyun & Zhang Yaojia. 1990. Elatinaceae. In: Li Hsiwen, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 50(2): 132-138.
Two genera and ca. 50 species: temperate and tropical regions; two genera and six species in China.
(Authors: Yang Qiner (杨亲二); Gordon C. Tucker)