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common mare's-tail, hippuride vulgaire, mare's tail


(2–)3–5 mm diam.


100–400 mm.


on mid portions of emergent shoots in whorls of (7 or)8 or 9(–12), linear to narrowly oblong or lanceolate, 3–35 × 0.5–2.5 mm, midvein inconspicuous, lateral veins present, sometimes obscure, apex subacute to acute or attenuate, tip often curled in dried plants.



filaments longer than anthers.


1.5–2 × 0.8–1 mm.


= 32.

Hippuris vulgaris

Phenology Flowering summer.
Habitat Shallow freshwater pools, pond margins.
Elevation 0–2900 m. (0–9500 ft.)
from FNA
AK; AZ; CA; CO; IL; IN; MA; ME; MI; MN; MT; ND; NE; NH; NM; NV; NY; OR; SD; UT; VT; WA; WI; WY; AB; BC; MB; NB; NL; NS; NT; NU; ON; PE; QC; SK; YT; SPM; s South America; Eurasia [Introduced in Australia]
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Hippuris vulgaris is the most common and widespread species of Hippuris; it is largely absent from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland. All specimens seen by the authors from that region are H. lanceolata.

The distribution of Hippuris vulgaris is bipolar, occurring also in southern South America (Patagonia: Argentina and Chile) and Australia; it exists in some areas as a naturalized introduction, possibly from being used in aquaria and ornamental pools. In Australia, H. vulgaris is monitored for its potential to become noxious by spreading rapidly in shallow waterways.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 17, p. 56.
Parent taxa Plantaginaceae > Hippuris
Sibling taxa
H. lanceolata, H. montana, H. tetraphylla
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 4. (1753)
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