Herbs small, annual, with opposite leaves and membranous stipules. Fls. minute axillary. Sepals 2 - 5, distinct or slightly coherent at base, persistent. Petals hypogynous, as many as the sepals. Sta. equal in number to, or twice as many as the petals. Anth introrse. Ova. 2 - 6-celled. Stigmas 2 - 5, capitate; placenta in the axis. Fr. capsular. Seeds numerous, exalbuminous.
Genera 6, species 22, found in every part of the globe, growing in marshes. The following is our only northern genus.
ELATINE, L. (Gr. έλaτη, fir; from the resemblance of the slender leaves of some species.) Fls. 2 - 4-merous. Stigmas sessile, minute.
E. Americana Arn. Mud Pubslane. St. diffuse, procumbent, striate, rooting from the joints, with assurgent branches; lvs. lance-oval or obovate, obtuse, entire; sty. 0; sep., pet., sta., stig. 2 - 3, as well as the cells and valves of the capsule; stip. very minute. - A little mud plant, on the borders of ponds and rivers, U. S. Fls. axillary, sessile, solitary. Cor. minute, closed. Jl. - Sept. (Crypta minima Nutt. Peplys Americana Ph.)