A family of monocotyledonous (see monocotyledon) herbs, in which the leaves are linear, borne mostly in a basal rosette. The flowers are tiny, in a bracteate head on a long stalk, unisexual but normally monoecious. There are 14 genera, with about 1200 species. They have an almost cosmopolitan distribution but are absent from Europe except for western parts of the British Isles. Most are swamp or aquatic plants.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.