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Genus of the Week

Week of July 6-12

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.
Visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:

(After which one genus from each Superorder (according to Cronquist) will have been selected):


Subclass: Monocotyledoneae
Superorder: Alismatidae
Order: Alismatales
Family: Alismataceae
Number of Species: at least 20
Root: named after Sagittarius, the famed archer and centaur.

Plants in the genus Sagittaria often have the common name of Arrowleaf, in obvious reference to the shape of the leaves. Several species with lance or ribbon shaped leaves also occur. The roots of these aquatic plants are tubers, and have been used for centuries as a food source in the Americas and Asia. Several species in this genus are now rare or endangered, while others are more common and grown as ornamentals.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Sagittaria species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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