Halophila engelmannii star grass

Halophila engelmannii star grass drawing.jpg

Halophila engelmannii star grass

Kingdom: PLANTAE
Division: ANTHOPHYTA
Class: MONOCOTYLEDONEAE
Order: HELOBIAE
Family: HYDROCHARITACEAE
Genus: Halophila
Species: engelmannii

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

  • Halophila is the only genus of seagrasses whose leaves do not have basal sheaths
  • Leaves are long and elliptical and finely serrulate
  • Leaf blades are 1- 3 cm long and 3- 6 mm wide
  • At the base of the leaf there are 2 scales and 2 scales halfway up the leaf stem
  • 6- 8 pairs of leaf veins
  • Leaves are in a psuedowhorl of 4- 8 leaf blades with a small (2 mm) or no petiole
  • Dioecious
HABITAT
  • Grows in sheltered sites from the lowest tide level to 90 m deep
  • Found on sandy and muddy substrates and may occur on shell- hash
DISTRIBUTION
  • Plants are widely distributed in the northern Gulf of Mexico, southern Florida,Cuba, and the Bahamas


Image Credit: Drawing reprinted with permission from: Phillips, R.C. and E.G. Menez. 1998. Seagrasses. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington D.C.



FWC Facts:
The Gulf sturgeon spawns 140 miles upstream from the mouth of the Suwannee River, one of the last pristine rivers with no dams to bar its path.

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