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Genus of the Week

Week of January 25-31

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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 for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Magnoliidae
Order: Nymphales
Family: Ceratophyllaceae
Number of Species: at least 2
Root: From the Greek "kerato", meaning horn, and "fullon", meaning leaf; a reference to the branched stems of this genus.

The genus Ceratophyllum, the only member of the Ceratophyllaceae, is considered to have been one of the earliest of the Angiosperms, possibly having evolved before the divergence of Monocots and Dicots. Plants in this genus are aquatic, and cannot survive unless they are completely submerged. What sets them apart from other vascular plants is that they have no roots, no stomata and no cuticle. Individuals intertwine to form floating mats that provide protection for the young of various fish, mollusk and insect species.

Here are some links to images and information concerning the genus Ceratophyllum:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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