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Aquatic Botany. Angiosperms. Hydrophytes. Plants growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. Categorizing Wetland Plants for Delineation Purposes (p. 755 of Mitsch).

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aquatic botany

Aquatic Botany




Plants growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content.

categorizing wetland plants for delineation purposes p 755 of mitsch
Categorizing Wetland Plants for Delineation Purposes(p. 755 of Mitsch)
  • Obligate Wetland (OBL)-occur almost always (>99%) in wetlands; E.g., Typha latifolia, Cattail
  • Facultative Wetland (FACW)-occur usually (67-99%) in wetlands, but also occur in non-wetlands (1-33%); E.g., Onoclea sensibilis, Sensitive Fern
  • Facultative (FAC)-similar likelihood of occurring in wetlands and non-wetlands (33-67%); E.g., Euthamia graminifolia, Grass-leaved Goldenrod
  • Facultative Upland (FACU)-occur sometimes in wetlands (1-33%) but more often in non wetlands; E.g., Quercus rubra, Red Oak
  • Obligate Upland (UPL)-occur rarely (<1%) in wetlands; e.g., Dennsteadtia punctilobula, Hay-scented Fern

(+/- may be appended)

categorizing wetland plants by growth form
Categorizing Wetland Plants by Growth Form
  • Emergent-with leaves that extend above the water surface; e.g., Northern Blue Flag, Iris versicolor
  • Free-floating-float freely on the water surface; e.g., Duckweed, Lemna minor
  • Floating-leaved-leaves float on water surface; e.g., Spatterdock, Nuphar variegata
  • Submersed-most of leaves growing under water surface; e.g., Curly-leaf Pondweed, Potomogeton crispus

Blue Flag Iris

Cattail, Typha sp.

  • tolerate fluctuating water levels
  • may dampen shoreline wave erosion; stabilize sediments with interlocking rootbed of rhizomes
  • usually with protective waxy cuticle
  • leaves with aerenchymous tissue making them buoyant, useful for waterfowl nests
  • may reproduce aerially (flowers) or vegetatively by rhizomes
Purple Loosestrife

American Burreed, Sparganium americanum

floating leaved plants
Floating-leaved Plants

Water Meal, Wolfia sp.

Giant Duckweed, Spirodelia

floating leaved plant community
Floating-Leaved Plant Community
  • cirucular/eliptical leaves with smooth margins resist tearing
  • leathery; thick cuticle (waterproofing)
  • stomata on surface
  • aerenchyma
  • often long petioles; often covered with mucilage
  • may reproduce from flowers or by extensive rhizomes
  • free-floating plants produce turions to overwinter
submersed plant community
Submersed Plant Community
  • leaves flexible, often finely divided; provide structure for invertebrates
  • no cuticle; often limp-the water provides support
  • heterophylly is common
  • stems photosynthesize
  • some reproduce from seed, others by turion, rhizomes, or tuber
submersed plants
Submersed Plants

Naiad, Najas sp.


Bristly Sedge, C. comosa

Tussock Sedge, Carex stricta


Soft Rush, Juncuseffusus