Alismatales (Water Plantains)

Abstract

The Alismatales comprise an angiosperm order commonly known as ‘water plantain’. All members are aquatic or wetland plants with vegetation totally submersed and flowers floating or emergent, or with floating leaves and floating or emergent flowers, or with emergent vegetation and flowers. Most species have a totally submerged juvenile phase, and some species, for example Baldellia ranunculoides, Luronium natans, Ottelia ovalifolia, Ottelia alismoides, and Blyxa alternifolia, develop submerged cleistogamous flowers.

Keywords: aquatic plants; freshwater vegetation; marine vascular plants; water plaintains

Figure 1.

Photograph of Sagittaria latifolia in flower and fruit.

Figure 2.

Diagram (adapted from results of phylogenetic DNA sequence analysis in Les et al., 1997) showing hypothetical relationships among the five families of Alismatales and other closely related monocotyledon orders. At present, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether to merge Najadaceae with Hydrocharitaceae, or Limnocharitaceae with Alismataceae.

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Further Reading

Björkqvist I (1967) Studies in Alisma L. I. Distribution, variation and germination. Opera Botanica 17: 1–128.

Björkqvist I (1968) Studies in AlismaL. II. Chromosome studies, crossing experiments and taxonomy. Opera Botanica 19: 1–138.

Bremer KM, Chase W and Stevens PF et al. (1998) An ordinal classification for the families of flowering plants. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 85: 531–553.

Cook CDK (1998) Butomaceae. In: Kubitzki K, Huber H, Rudall PJ, Stevens PS and Stützel T (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV. Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons, Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), pp. 100–102. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Cook CDK (1998) Hydrocharitaceae. In: Kubitzki K, Huber H, Rudall PJ, Stevens PS and Stützel T (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV. Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons, Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), pp. 234–248. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Cook CDK and Urmi‐König K (1983) A revision of the genus Stratiotes (Hydrocharitaceae). Aquatic Botany 16: 213–249.

Daghlian CP (1981) A review of the fossil record of monocotyledons. Botanical Review (Lancaster) 47: 517–555.

Friis EM (1985) Angiosperm fruits and seeds from the Middle Miocene of Jutland (Denmark), Alismataceae. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Copenhagen. Biologiske Skrifter 24(3): 71–73.

Haynes RR and Holm‐Nielsen B (1992) The Limnocharitaceae. Flora Neotropica 56: 1–34.

Haynes RR and Holm‐Nielsen LB (1994) The Alismataceae. Flora Neotropica 64: 1–112.

Haynes RR, Les DH and Holm‐Nielsen LB (1998) Alismataceae. In: Kubitzki K, Huber H, Rudall PJ, Stevens PS and Stützel T (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV.Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons, Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), pp. 271–275, Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Haynes RR, Les DH and Holm‐Nielsen LB (1998) Alismataceae. In: Kubitzki K, Huber H, Rudall PJ, Stevens PS and Stützel T (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV. Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons, Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), pp. 11–18. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA and Donoghue MA (2002) Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, 2nd edn. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Assoc.

Les DH and Haynes RR (1995) Systematics of subclass Alismatidae: a synthesis of approaches. In: Rudall PJ, Cribb PJ, Cutler DF and Humphries CJ (eds) Monocotyledons: Systematics and Evolution, pp. 353–377. Kew: Royal Botanical Gardens.

Les DH, Cleland MA and Waycott M (1997) Phylogenetic studies in Alismatidae, II: evolution of marine angiosperms (‘seagrasses’) and hydrophily. Systematic Botany 22: 443–463.

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How to Cite close
Haynes, Robert R, and Les, Donald H(May 2005) Alismatales (Water Plantains). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003702]