This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Aquatic or marsh plants rooting in the mud, with a short buried 2-lobed or 3-lobed trunk (stem) sending out abundant roots and sending up a compact tuft of rush-like leaves. Sporanges sessile in the axils of the leaves, some containing megaspores (megasporanges), others microspores (microsporanges); the former germinate into prothallia bearing only archegones, the latter into prothallia bearing usually only a single antherid.