Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella mittenii Baker

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Selaginella depressa sensu Sim
selaginella cooperi Baker
Selaginella mackenii Baker
Selaginella tectissima Baker
Selaginella welwitschii Baker

Common name

Description

Plant creeping, moss-like, branched repeatedly, rooting for most of its length, flattened against the ground. Leaves dimorphic; lateral leaves ovate-elliptic in outline, spreading, 2 × 1.1 mm, base unequally cordate, apex pointed, margin minutely toothed, larger than median leaves; median leaves elliptic, pointed, up to 1.2 mm long. Leaves bright green, curl beneath the stem when dry. Strobili situated on the end of the branches, 4-8 mm long; sporophylls similar to the median leaves, in 4 lines.

Notes

Can be distinguished from Selaginella kraussiana which has bigger lateral leaves and a more springy habit (it does not lay appressed to the ground like S. mittenii). Confusion with Selaginella perpusilla is possible, but this is only known from the Lundi river bridge in southern Zimbabwe. The lateral leaves of S. perpusilla do not curl when dry.

Derivation

mittenii: named after W. Mitten, British bryologist

Habitat

In moist evergreen forest or deciduous woodland, along earth-or streambank or in rocky areas, in lee of boulders in grassland, exposed or deeply shaded.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 29. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 94 - 95. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 145 - 146. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 33.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 27. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 25.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 26.
  •