E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hippuris tetraphylla L. f.
four-leaved mare's-tail (fourleaf mare's-tail)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Hippuridaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Hippuris tetraphylla
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Species Information

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Perennial, aquatic, emergent herb from a creeping rhizome; stems erect, simple, glabrous, 1.5-5 mm wide, 10-40 cm tall.
Stem leaves 4-6 (8) per whorl, linear to oblong, glabrous, rounded at the tips, 6-15 mm long, 2-8 mm wide.
Inflorescence of tiny, single, inconspicuous, imperfect and occasionally perfect flowers in several whorls in the axils of the leaf whorls, stalked below, unstalked in the upper leaf axils, the flowers mostly bisexual; petals lacking; anthers 0.5 mm long; mature ovaries 2 mm long.
Nutlets, about 2 mm long; seeds 1.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Saline or brackish marshes, tide flats and shallow ponds in the lowland zone; rare in coastal BC; N to AK, YT and NT and E to Labr.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hippuris tetraphylla

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

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