Salvinia, a genus in the family Salviniaceae, is a floating fern named in honor of Anton Maria Salvini, a 17th-century Italian scientist. Watermoss is a common name for Salvinia. The genus was published in 1754 by Jean-François Séguier, in his description of the plants found round Verona, Plantae Veronenses Twelve species are recognized, at least three of which (S. molesta, S. herzogii, and S. minima) are believed to be hybrids, in part because their sporangia are found to be empty. Salvinia is related to the other water ferns, including the mosquito fern Azolla. Recent sources include both Azolla and Salvinia in Salviniaceae, although each genus was formerly given its own family. Salvinia, like the other ferns in order Salviniales, are heterosporous, producing spores of differing sizes. However, leaf development in Salvinia is unique. The upper side of the floating leaf, which appears to face the stem axis, is morphologically abaxial. From a human point of view, when their growth is robust the plants pose a particular hindrance on lakes. For example, they choked off much of the water in Lake Bistineau near Doyline in Webster Parish, Louisiana and affected a second Webster Parish site, Caney Lakes Recreation Area. Salvinia cucullata is one of just two fern species for which a reference genome has been published.
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