Description: One species, a pantropic, free-floating perennial of quiet ponds nearly throughout the tropics and subtropics; stoloniferous, forming colonies, rosettes to 6 inches across, with long, feathery, hanging roots; leaves obovate to spathulate-oblong, truncate to emarginate at the apex, long-cuneate at base, with many prominent longitudinal veins, light green, velvety-hairy; inflorescence inconspicuous, to 1/2 inch long; flowers few, unisexual, enclosed in a leaflike spathe.
Often grown in ponds and aquaria, can become a serious pest in the tropics.
Uses: Used as a famine food in India. Young leaves are eaten in China. Many traditional medicinal uses. Studies have shown effectiveness for antifungal, hypotensive, bronchodialtor, cytotoxic, larvicidal, anthelmintic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and diuretic activity.