Annual or perennial aquatic herbs, erect, usually deciduous, rhizomatous. Leaves radical, emergent, petiolate, with cordate to ovate blade, extremely variable as to size and shape. Flowers pedicelled, racemose or subumbellate. Perianth segments free, subequal, blue, marcescent. Stamens 3 + 3, arising from base of segments, unequal, the largest with an erect tooth on one side of filament; anthers erect, basifxed, opening by apical slits. Ovary 3-locular, with axile placentas, many-ovulate; style filiform; stigma apical, small. Capsule spindle-shaped, with thin pericarp enclosed by marcescent perianth. Seeds many, minute, ovoid, with several thin ribs. x= 10, 13, 14 (aneuploids, high polyploidy).
Species 8, tropical Africa, Asia and Australia, naturalised in Europe; 1 in sthn Afr.: Monochoria africana (Solms) N.E.Br., only known from central and southern parts of the Kruger National Park and from a neighbouring private game reserve (Mpumalanga); apparently annual, growing in or around the edge of pans.
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