Elatine hydropiper   Eight-stamened Waterwort R DDD N elashr

Elatine hydropiper Elatine hydropiper

Not having seen this plant before I had imagined something of the size of Calitriche stagnalis (Common Water-starwort) but it is much smaller than that. Indeed even the leaves are only as large e as the smallest fronds of a Lemna minor (Common Duckweed). The flowers are the smallest photographed on this site and we could only tell that the plant was actually in flower by using a hand lens. The flower is at a maximum 2 mm in diameter. To count the stamens and sepals we used the x 20 lens. The globular fruit was in the axils of the leaves with no pedicel (stalk) and when looking at a patch of the plant from above there is a distinct reddening of the leaves at this time of year.

This plant has a very limited distribution in the British Isles. Anglesey and north Wales are some of its strongholds. There is a little in England and most is to be found in central western Scotland and north eastern Ireland.

Mud banks of Cefni Reservoir 6th October 2005

>Added on 6th October 2005, updated 24th December 2008, updated 29th March 2010

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