203.100 Marsilea L. - Water clover or clover fern.

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

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca

Description of the genus

The plants mostly look like swamp-grown four-leaved clover!
Fronds with 4 leaflets, arranged symmetrically crosswise at the apex of a stipe, floating in submerged plants. Leaflets herbaceous, obtriangular to obovate. Sori numerous on a gelatinous string-like receptacle attached to the wall of the sporocarp. Sporocarps stalked, borne singly or many together on petioles arising at or near the base of the stipe.

The identification of species of Marsilea on vegetative characters is impossible, mature sporocarps are essential for accurate naming.

Derivation of name: marsilea: named after Count Luigi Fernandino Marsigli of Bologna (1658-1730), naturalist.

Worldwide: ± 70 species, near cosmopolitan distribution.

Caprivi: 3 taxa.

Marsilea ephippiocarpa

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesContent
ephippiocarpa AlstonDescription, Image
minuta L. var. minuta Description, Image
nubica A. Braun var. gymnocarpa (Lepr. ex A. Braun) LaunertDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Marsilea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Marsilea
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Marsilea
Flora of Malawi: Marsilea
Flora of Mozambique: Marsilea
Flora of Zambia: Marsilea
Flora of Zimbabwe: Marsilea

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Marsilea
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Marsilea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Marsilea
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Marsilea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Marsilea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Marsilea
JSTOR Plant Science: Marsilea
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Marsilea
Plants of the World Online: Marsilea
Tropicos: Marsilea
Wikipedia: Marsilea

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Caprivi: Genus page: Marsilea.
https://www.capriviflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=87, retrieved 20 July 2024

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