Pilularia L. - Pillwort


Description of the genus

Plants aquatic, commonly entirely under water and infrequently persisting on bare mud. Roots arising at nodes. Leaves filiform, terete, without lamina, consisting only of filiform petiole. Sporocarps subterranean, borne on unbranched stalks arising at bases of petioles, attached laterally to stalk apex (attached portion called raphe), lacking teeth; sporocarps densely to sparsely hairy, less so with age, dehiscing into 4 valves.


Derivation of name:  pilula: pill; referring to the shape of the sporocarps.

Worldwide: c. 6 species, near cosmolpolitan



We have 4 taxa in the database for Pilularia.

  • Pilularia americana A. Braun
  • Pilularia bokkeveldensis N.R.Crouch
  • Pilularia dracomontana N.R.Crouch & J.Wesley-Smith
  • Pilularia minuta Durieu