Marsilea - Marsileaceae

Marsilea minuta L. var. minuta

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Marsilea crenulata Desv.
Marsilea diffusa Lepr. ex A. Braun
Marsilea tenax Peter

Common name

Description

Floating form: stipe up to 26 cm long, slender, hairless. Leaflets up to 15-28 × 10-29 mm, broadly obovate, outer margin rounded, entire to shallowly irregular, hairless, brownish suberous streaks between the veins of the lower surface. Dry land form: stipe up to 13 (15) cm long. Leaflets up to 6-13 × 4-10 mm, obovate, outer margins subentire to shallowly incised, slightly hairy. Sporocarps: clustered in groups of 2-5, size variable, average 3-4 × 2.4-3 mm, 0.8-1.4 mm thick, dark brown to almost matt black, broadly oblong-elliptic in lateral view, outer side rounded, vertical cross-section elliptic; densely appressed hairy when young becoming quite hairless with age; lower and upper tooth prominent, upper tooth as long as or slightly longer than lower tooth; pedicels 3-7 mm long, cylindrical, stout, erect or gently curved upwards, free or branching once, arising from the leaf axil or the base of the stipe, sometimes one above the other.

Notes

Recognizable by two prominent teeth on sporocarp and only a few sporocarps arising both from axil and along base of stipe.

Derivation

minuta: very small, unclear since no parts of the plant are extremely small.

Habitat

Seasonal or perennial pools in vleis, lake edges, flood plains of larger river systems.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, the Mascarenes, India.

Distribution in Africa

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Fasso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Morocco and Western Sahara, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 72. (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 238 - 239. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 479 - 480. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 121.
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Pages 56 - 57.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 176.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 60 - 62. (Includes a picture).
  •