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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical coasts.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Monoecious or dioecious annuals or perennials with creeping rhizomes; rhizome bearing at each node a subopposite pair of scales with a lateral shoot and 1–few unbranched root(s) covered with sand-binding, fine hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves in pairs, in pseudo-whorls or distichously arranged, sessile or long-petiolate, usually with a distinct blade, linear to ovate; veins conspicuous, including a thickened midrib and a pair of longitudinal veins usually connected by cross-veins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences sessile, usually of a solitary unisexual flower or with 2 flowers of different sex; spathe of 2 sessile imbricate keeled bracts
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flower usually sessile, with 3 minute tepals at top of hypanthium; ovary of 3–5 carpels; styles 2–6, undivided Male flower pedicellate; tepals 3, imbricate; stamens 3; anthers sessile, linear-oblong, 2–4-celled, latrorsely or extrorsely dehiscent; pollen grains ellipsoid, united in moniliform chains
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit fleshy, thin-walled, beaked, opening by decay of pericarp; seeds several, globose.
Distribution
Genus of about 10 species, widely distributed in all tropical seas and extending also into warm temperate waters.
Note
All species reported from the East African coast belong to section Halophila, with very short erect lateral shoots bearing one pair of petiolate leaves at each node, and with leaf blade with ascending lateral veins. H. decipiens Ostenfeld and H. minor (Zoll.) den Hartog, found respectively in Tanzania and Kenya, have not yet been found in Somalia.

[FTEA]

Hydrocharitaceae, David Simpson. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Monoecious or dioecious, submerged, marine perennials
Morphology Stem
Stems elongate, rhizomatous or shortly erect, the latter produced from nodes at regular intervals along the rhizome
Morphology Roots
Roots 1(–3) at each node where the erect stems produced, simple, sand binding, covered with fine hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves in pairs, whorls or distichously arranged on the erect stems, sessile or petiolate; blade linear to ovate, acute, obtuse or rounded, cuneate or rounded at the base, opaque or somewhat translucent, usually glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent, with 3 longitudinal veins, often connected by ascending cross-veins; margins green, entire or serrulate Nodal scales 0
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules 2, obtuse to suborbicular or transversely elliptic, membranous, subtending each pair or whorl of leaves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers unisexual Male flowers pedicellate, remaining attached to the plant; tepals 3, ovate, cucullate; stamens 3, anthers sessile, linear-oblong, erect, 2–4-thecous, latrorsely or extrorsely dehiscent Female flowers with tepals 3, reduced to lobes at the apex of perianth-tube; staminodes 0; ovary of 3–5 carpels, ellipsoid or ovoid, 1-locular, placentation parietal; ovules few to many; perianth-tube narrowly cylindric; styles 3–5; stigmas 3–5, filiform, entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Male and ♀ spathes similar, solitary in leaf-axils, sessile, 1–2-flowered, rarely with 1 flower of each sex in the same spathe, composed of 2 free, overlapping bracts, the bracts elliptic to sub-orbicular, acuminate, obtuse, often keeled, translucent, the margins entire or serrulate
sex Male
Male flowers pedicellate, remaining attached to the plant; tepals 3, ovate, cucullate; stamens 3, anthers sessile, linear-oblong, erect, 2–4-thecous, latrorsely or extrorsely dehiscent
sex Female
Female flowers with tepals 3, reduced to lobes at the apex of perianth-tube; staminodes 0; ovary of 3–5 carpels, ellipsoid or ovoid, 1-locular, placentation parietal; ovules few to many; perianth-tube narrowly cylindric; styles 3–5; stigmas 3–5, filiform, entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit ovoid to globose, membranous, opening by decay of pericarp
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds subglobose to globose, tuberculate, reticulate or smooth.

Native to:

Aldabra, Andaman Is., Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Borneo, Brazil Northeast, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Chagos Archipelago, China Southeast, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, Florida, Gulf States, Hainan, Hawaii, India, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, KwaZulu-Natal, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Mauritius, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Norfolk Is., Northern Territory, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panamá, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rodrigues, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sinai, Society Is., Solomon Is., Somalia, South Australia, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Texas, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Victoria, Vietnam, Western Australia, Windward Is., Yemen

Introduced into:

East Aegean Is., Greece, Kriti, Sicilia, Turkey

Halophila Thouars appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Gen. Nov. Madagasc.: 2 (1806)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Flora of Somalia

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

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • G.P. 3: 455 (1883)
  • Gen. Nov. Madag. 2: 2 (1806)
  • Hartog, Sea Grasses of the World: 238 (1970)

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0