This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name of doubtful application). Elatinaceae. Small mostly glabrous creeping herbs, probably annuals, of temperate and warm regions (perhaps 10 species), sometimes used in bog- and water-gardening. They root at the nodes, spreading along the margins of streams and ponds. Leaves opposite or verti-cillate, mostly broad, entire: flowers minute and inconspicuous, mostly solitary in the axils; sepals and petals
2-4, and stamens as many or sometimes twice as many; styles or stigmas 2-4: pod 2-4-valved. The plants are grown for their foliage cover. Four species are native in the U. S. and Canada, but they appear not to be in the trade. Abroad, E. macropoda, Guss., of the Medit. region, is offered. Leaves oblong, short-petioled: flowers axillary and terminal, 4-merous, stalked: caps, half shorter than the sepals.
The family Elatinaceae is allied to the Hypericaceae. It comprises perhaps 25 species in many parts of the world. The only other genus is Bergia, which differs from Elatine in being terrestrial and in having 5-merous flowers B. texana, Seub., occurs in swamps and on wet banks from S. 111. to Texas and Calif. The bergias are apparently not in cultivation l H. B.