Perennial aquatic herbs, rhizomatous, rooting in mud. Leaves with long swollen spongy petiole with expanded sheathing bases; blade cordate, hastate, or ovate, or sometimes all leaves submerged and linear. Flowers small, in terminal spike, rarely 2 or solitary, occasionally some cleistogamous. Perianth nearly regular, salver- or funnel-shape, blue, accrescent. Stamens 3 (1 in cleistogamous flowers), exserted; filaments arising from throat of tube; median stamen occasionally longer; anthers dorsifixed, opening by longitudinal slits. Ovary 1-locular or imperfectly 3-locular, with 3 parietal, multi-ovulate placentas; style filiform; stigma small. Capsule oblong or terete. Seeds many, ovoid, terete.
Species +/- 9, tropical to subtropical regions of Africa and America; 1 in sthn Afr.: Heteranthera callifolia Rchb. ex Kunth (= H. kotschyana Fenzl ex Solms), Namibia, Botswana and from the Nylsvlei area in the Northern Province.
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