Quillworts are perennial herbs that grow underwater or in very wet conditions. The leaves are slender, elongate, and 4-46 cm long. They are spirally arranged and grow from a fleshy, flattened, 2-3 lobed corm roughly 1 cm wide. The blades have four hollow, longitudinal tubes inside. They are smooth along the edges, hairless, and may have up to 4 sides. The sporangia are embedded in the base of each leaf and partially or completely covered by a thin tissue called a velum. They produce spores of two sizes (megaspores and microspores).
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key