Marsileaceae - Water-clovers and pillworts

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

Description of the family

Small aquatic or semi-aquatic ferns, rooting in mud, with widely creeping, dichotomously branched rhizomes of indefinite growth. Fronds numerous, approximate to widely spaced, 1-pinnate with 2 pinna pairs in a clover-shaped cluster at the apex of a long, slender, cylindrical petiole or lamina lacking; veins dichotomously branched, anastomosing. Sporangia in closed sporocarps; sporocarps inserted on short stalks (pedicles)on the stipe (usually at the base), heterosporus.

Worldwide: 3 genera and c. 75 species worldwide, in arm-temperate and (sub)tropical regions.

 

Genera

  • Marsilea L.
  • Pilularia L.
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    Literature

  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.
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