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The subclass Isoetidae consists of one family, the Isoetacae, containing two genera and 77 species. The most widely distributed genus is Isoetes, or the quillworts. These are aquatic or moist-terrestrial plants, usually growing as a rosette of leaves emerging from a central, corn-like rhizome, from which numerous wiry roots emerge. The leaves are long and grass-like (or quill-like). The sporangia occur on the inside of the inflated leaf-bases, and the plants are heterosporous (having megaspores and microspores). Species of quillworts are widely distributed on all continents, most commonly growing on the bottom of freshwater lakes and other surface waters. A representative species is Braun's quillwort (Isoetes braunii) of boreal North America and Eurasia.

Bill Freedman

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Linear expansivity to Macrocosm and microcosmLycophytes - Lycopodiidae, Selaginelidae, Isoetidae