Family, Frog's Bit. Flowers, of two kinds. Staminate very small, with 3 sepals, with or without 3 inner petallike divisions of the perianth. Stamens, 3 to 9. Stigmas, 3. Pistillate flowers seldom seen. Leaves, opposite, whorled, or clustered along the stem, sessile, transparent, long, narrow, small. Stem, 4 inches to 3 feet long, according to the depth of the water. May to August. Aquatic.
A small, slender herb, growing its stems and leaves under water, but bringing its pistillate flowers to the surface by stretching the tube of the perianth till it reaches the top of the water. This tube is thin and thread-like. The staminate flowers break off early, scattering their pollen on the water around the stigmas of the pistillate flowers.
Tape, or eel-grass (Valisneria spiralis), belongs to this Family. Its ribbon-like leaves grow 6 feet long. It is common and well known.