African Plant Database

Heteranthera Ruíz & Pav.
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Glabrous aquatic annual herb c. 13-50 cm tall; stems creeping or ascending, rooting in the mud at lower nodes, sometimes almost free-floating; stoloniferous; leaves erect, blade sometimes floating, ovate, cordate, 2,5-7,5x1,3-5 cm, petiole 5-20 cm long; flowering stems c. 3,8-10 cm long; inflorescence a spike 5-10 cm long, with c. 7-20 sessile flowers, reduced to 1 flower on submerged stems, and then often cleistogamous; perianth glandular-hairy, white, blue or purple; tube cylindrical, 0,5-1 cm long; lobes 6,5-7 mm long; stamens 3; capsule oblong, trigonous, 0,8-1,8 cm long (from cleistogamous flowers 1,2-1,8 cm).
Ecology : Swamps; pools; littoral zones of flat, seasonal freshwater lakes in sandy loam or clay (Sagittario guayanensis-Nymphaeion maculatae community; see Syst. Geogr. Pl. 75: 242-2005); as a weed in humid rice padis; soft mud at edge of streams; stagnant or slowly flowing waters; by spots in hollows on black clay; has been recorded as growing in saline water; 450-2575 m alt.
  Related to H. spicata K. Presl (C. America from Honduras to N S. America, Cuba, Dominican Rep.) and H. peduncularis Benth. (S USA, Mexico, Guatemala).
  Sometimes grown in tropical aquaria by fish-fanciers.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • LEBRUN, J. P. & A. L. STORK (1995). Enumération des plantes à fleurs d’Afrique tropicale. Monocotyledones: Limnocharitaceae à Poaceae. Énum. Pl. Fleurs Afr. Trop. 3: 75

Bibliography other :
  • Trop. Afr. Flow. Plants (Ecol. Distr.) 8: 253 (2014)
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
carte afrique num 191363
Record n°191363 modified 2008-12-27
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