Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments (saltwater or freshwater). They are also referred to as hydrophytes or macrophytes. These plants require special adaptations for living submerged in water , or at the water 's surface. The most commonadaptation is aerenchyma, but floatingleaves and finely dissected leaves are also common. Aquatic plants can only grow in water or in soil that is permanently saturated with water . They are therefore a common component of wetlands .
The principal factor controlling the distribution of aquatic plants is the depth and duration of flooding. However, other factors may also control their distribution, abundance, and growth form, including nutrients, disturbance from waves, grazing , and salinity.
Aquatic vascular plants have originated on multiple occasions in different plant families; they can be ferns or angiosperms (including both monocots and dicots). Seaweeds are not vascular plants ; rather they are multicellular marine algae , and therefore are not typically included among aquatic plants .