1A small aquatic or semiaquatic fern which is either free-floating or anchored by the roots, found chiefly in tropical and warm countries.
- Families Azollaceae, Marsileaceae and Salviniaceae: many species, in particular the minute floating Azolla filiculoides of tropical America, which has been naturalized elsewhere.
- Genomic downsizing is suggested for the heterosporous water ferns and for the aquatic fern Ceratopteris.
- However, both water ferns and Selaginella are also heterosporous, unlike any other pteridophytes except Isoetales.
- Thick mass of Trapa, an economically important free floating plant called Singhari by the local people, besides water ferns, duckweeds etc can be seen almost everywhere.
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