Araceae Juss.

Lemna L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Cosmopolitan.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology Leaves
Fronds floating or submerged, separate or connected, flat or swollen
Morphology Roots
Roots solitary or absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Floral poach lateral with spathe enclosing 2 male and 1 female flower
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anther thecae 2-celled
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit ± globose, 1–6-seeded; seeds usually ribbed.
Cosmopolitan genus of some 14-17 species.


Lemnaceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1973

Morphology General Habit
Aquatics, submerged or more usually floating in great numbers; individual thalli cohering
Morphology General Thallus
Daughter thallus budding from lateral pocket Thalli oblong to ovate, ± asymmetrical, thin or spongy
Morphology Roots
Root solitary, devoid of hairs,shortly sheathed near point of origin; sheath simple or laterally winged; apex of root sheathed by a conspicuous root-cap, tip acute or obtuse
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowering erratic; floral pocket lateral with spathe enclosing 2 staminate and 1 pistillate flowers
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit (l–6)-seeded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed usually ribbed.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

General Description
Fronds with 1 - 5 (7) veins and 1 to several layers of air spaces and raphides; pigment cells lacking; fronds not surrounded by a prophyll; 1 root per frond; pistil with 1 amphitrophous or atropous or 2 - 7 anatropous ovules; seeds 0.4 - 0.9 mm long, with 8-60 longitudinal ribs.
Free floating aquatic plants reduced to small, leaf-like, poorly differentiated fronds; roots and veins present; lack calcium oxalate druses. Differs from Spirodela in having only 1 root per frond, 1-5 veins (rarely 7 in Lemna gibba ) and the base of the frond lacking a scale.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aldabra, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Aruba, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, Buryatiya, Cabinda, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Caprivi Strip, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Central European Rus, Chad, Chagos Archipelago, Chile Central, Chile North, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Christmas I., Cocos (Keeling) Is., Colombia, Colorado, Comoros, Congo, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Florida, France, Free State, French Guiana, Føroyar, Gabon, Galápagos, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Labrador, Lebanon-Syria, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maluku, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Mozambique, Mozambique Channel I, Myanmar, Namibia, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Northwest European R, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oman, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Puerto Rico, Qinghai, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Rodrigues, Romania, Rwanda, Réunion, Sakhalin, Samoa, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sicilia, Sierra Leone, Sinai, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Southwest Caribbean, Spain, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Svalbard, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Transcaucasus, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Turks-Caicos Is., Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Western Australia, Western Sahara, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Ascension, Assam, Nicobar Is., Sri Lanka, St.Helena


Lemna L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Chandler, P. [1731], Uganda 22463.000 No
24323.000 No
Schodde, R. [2674], Papua New Guinea 25394.000 No
Seychelles 33952.000 No
Hepper, F.N. [5633], Yemen 34348.000 No
Melville, R. [212], Australia 35448.000 No
Harley, R.M. [25515a], Brazil 58015.000 No
Spruce, R. [s.n.], Peru K000201335 Yes
Melville, R. [2216], Australia 36868.000 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 970 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 8: 200.
  • Sp. Pl. 970 (1753)

CATE Araceae

  • Landolt, E. 1998. Lemnaceae The Families and Genera of Flowering Plants.. 4: 264-270
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 4, (1995) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Daubs, Monogr. Lemnac.: 16 (1965)
  • Hegelm., Lemnac. Monogr.: 134 (1868)
  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 417 (1754)
  • N.E. Br. in F.T.A. 8: 201 (1901)
  • Sp. Pl.: 970 (1753)

  • CATE Araceae

    Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Plants and People Africa

    Common Names from Plants and People Africa
    © Plants and People Africa