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Hydrocotyle ranunculoides

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File:Pennywort In River Soar.jpg
Floating pennywort infestation in the River Soar, Leicester

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, known commonly as floating pennywort, or floating marshpennywort, is an aquatic plant in the family Araliaceae. It is native to North and South America and parts of Africa.

Background

In the United Kingdom it is an invasive alien species which is currently spreading in waterways.<ref>http://www.invasivespeciesscotland.org.uk/floating-pennywort-hydrocotyle-ranunculoides/</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite news</ref> It was one of five aquatic plants which were banned from sale in the UK from April 2014, and was the first prohibition of its kind there.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Water pennywort is also a weed in Australia. On the other hand, it is a threatened species in parts of its native range in the United States.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Description

Water pennywort has stems that spread horizontally and can float on water.<ref name=Illinois>Template:Cite web</ref> Leaves grow on petioles up to 35 cm long, and are round to kidney-shaped, with 3–7 lobes and crenate to entire margins.<ref name=Jepson>Template:Cite web</ref> Flowers are small, pale greenish white to pale yellow, and come in umbels of 5–13.<ref name=Illinois /> Fruits are small achenes that can float, helping the seeds to disperse.<ref name=Illinois />

References

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