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Hydrocotyle L.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Apiaceae Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • WATER-PENNYWORT - English, United States of America
  • NICKELS-AND-DIMES - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Ours glabrous creeping perennials of damp ground or shallow water, rooting at the nodes; leaves peltate or not so; leaf blades shiny above, sometimes round; umbels simple, branched or verticillate; flowers inconspicuous, yellow-green or white; fruits without secondary ribs, not reticulate.


Notes: A cosmopolitan genus of ca. 130 species often with peltate leaves; some are cultivated as ornamental ground covers. Some workers have suggested that if Araliaceae and Apiaceae are recognized as separate families (as done here), then the Hydrocotylaceae should be recognized as well (e.g., Thorne 1992); however, the traditional approach of including Hydrocotyle in the Apiaceae is followed here. (Greek: hydor, water, and kotyle, cup, alluding to the hollows in the center of the leaves of some species)