Genus of the Month
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 might also want to visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes
, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family. Also, you can see my contribution to the
Conservation New England web site, entitled
"The Introduction of Non-Native Plants into Massachusetts".
This month's genus:
Number of Species: at least 4
Root: From Greek, translating to "marshy"
The genus Elodea is made up of aquatic species native to both temperate and tropical regions. Species are often used as aquarium plants, and are also used to perform experiments in some biology classes. This genus is dioecious, meaning that male flowers and female flowers are located on separate plants. Since this can make pollination difficult in an aquatic habitat, Elodea species have developed anthers that explode open, releasing pollen over the surrounding water surface. E. canadensis carries the distinction of being one of the few plant species to successfully invade Europe from North America (it's usually the other way around).
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Elodea species:
- Click here to a line-drawing comparing Elodea with other similar looking genera in the same family (courtesy of the University of Florida's Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Information Retrieval System).
- For an even closer look at Elodea, here's what one of its cells looks like, brought to you by the University of Maryland's PBIO100 course..
- Here are links to three different experiments you can do with Elodea:
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
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