Perennial submersed aquatic herb to 0.5 m tall Stem: slender, forking, rooting at lower nodes. Leaves: alternate, submersed, sheathing at the base, stalkless, 3 - 10.5 cm long, to 0.5 mm wide, linear with a more or less blunt tip, sometimes minutely toothed, one-veined. Inflorescence: a short, head-like spike of two flowers, on a terminal stalk. Stalk 0.5 mm - 1.65 cm long, to 0.5 mm wide, spirally twisting. Flowers: paired, tiny, lacking tepals. Stamens two, stalkless, opposite. Anthers two-chambered. Pistils four to eight. Fruit: a drupelet (a small, fleshy fruit with a stony center), long-stalked, 2 - 3 mm long, to 1.5 mm wide, obliquely egg-shaped, short-beaked, one-seeded.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Habitat and ecology: Rare in the Chicago Region, typically being found in saline or brackish waters along the coasts and areas inland. Consequently, some botanists question its nativity in the Great Lakes area.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Ruppia is named after the German botanist Heinrich Bernhard Ruppius (1689-1719). Maritima means "of or from the sea."
. Stem to 8 dm; lvs 3-10 cm נ0.5 mm; fr 2-3 mm; 2n=14, 16, 20, 24, 28, 40. Interruptedly cosmopolitan; along both coasts of the U.S. in saline or brackish (rarely truly marine) water, and scattered inland in saline or brackish (rarely fresh) water. Highly variable, and by some authors divided into several apparently confluent spp. or vars.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.