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Name derivation:

The generic name Ruppia was dedicated by Linnaeus to the German botanist Heinrich Bernhard Ruppius (1689-1719)

Common names ‘tasselweed’, ‘widgeon grass’, ‘ditchweed



Ruppia Linnaeus  1753;  4 of 5 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2014).

Order Alismatales;  Family Potamogetonaceae


Thin stems and ribbon-like leaves with a sheath at their node on the stem.  Generally opposite insertion of leaves.  Corymb-like inflorescences bearing 2-8 flowers.  Hydrophyllous or self-pollination.  Fruits are ‘druplets’ that are distributed by water currents or y fish and aquatic birds that eat them.

Asexual reproduction occurs by growth of new plants from spreading rhizomes.


Similar genera:



Freshwater to brackish sites including roadside diches.  Shallow, 0.5 – 2.0 m depth. Widespread distribution in coastal areas, especially marshes.



Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2014.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 23 September 2014.

Linnaeus, C.  1753.  Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Vol. 1 pp. [1-12], 1-560. Holmiae [Stockholm]: Impensis Laurentii Salvii.