Aquatic herbs, with dioecious or polygamo-dioecious flow ers on scape-like peduncles from a kind of spathe of one or two leaves, the perianth in the fertile flowers of 6 pieces united below into a tube which is adherent to the ovary. Stigmas 3. Fruit ripening under water.
1. Elode'a. Growing under water, the pistillate flowers alone coming to the surface. Stem leafy and branching. Perianth of the fertile flowers with a 6-lobed spreading limb, the tube prolonged to an extraordinary length, thread-like. Leaves crowded, pellucid, 1-nerved, sessile, whorled in threes or fours. Stamens 3-9.
2. Vallisneria. Nothing but the pistillate flowers above the surface, these on scapes of great length, and after fertilization drawn below the surface by the spiral coiling of the scapes. Tube of the perianth not prolonged. Leaves linear, thin, long and ribbonlike. (In both genera the staminate flowers break off spontaneously and float on the surface around the pistillate ones, shedding their pollen upon them.)
E. Canadensis, Michx. (Anach'aris Canadensis, Plan-chon.)- Common in slow waters.
L. Tape-grass. Eel-grass. V. spira'lis, L. Leaves 1-2 feet long. - Common in slow waters.