Pteridophytes (Spore Producing Plants: Ferns and More) • Earth.com

Water Spangles

(Salvinia minima)

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Description

The leaves of Salvinia minima are small and oval, ranging from 0.4 to 2 centimeters in length.Each rhizome of the fern floats close to the surface and has a joined set of leaves that branch off horizontally.The leaves grow in joined sets of three, with two leaves floating on the surface and one leaf dissected, hanging underneath. This species is rootless but the dissected leaves that hang down act as root-like structures and are longer than the floating leaves.Fine white hairs grow uniformly on the leaf surface and serve to repel water. The hairs grow close together in groups of four, bending out and touching together at their top ends to form a whisk or eggbeater-like shape. There are longer brown hairs present on the underside of leaves as well. Leaves range from bright green to brown in color, often browning with age and in sunlight.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order:Salviniales
Family:Salviniaceae
Genus:Salvinia
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