Isoetes - Isoetaceae

Isoetes stephanseniae A.V. Duthie






Isoetes capensis A.V.Duthie var. stephansiniae (A.V.Duthie) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony

Common name


Pseudo-corm 2-lobed; bud scales triangular, c. 3 x 3 mm, blackish brown, leathery, sometimes with hairlike apical appendage up to 3 mm long. Leaves 5-15, linear, needle shaped, 40-130 x c. 1.5 mm, flaring to 4 mm wide around the sporangia, with narrowly winged membranous margin basally. Ligule cordate-triangular, up to 1 mm long, pale but darkened at the point of attachment. Velum complete. Sporangia almost round, 2-5 mm in diameter. Megaspores 0.45-0.62 mm in diameter, grey-white, distal surface with large warts coalescing into short ridges, proximal surface with scattered warts.



stephanseniae: this species was first found by Miss A.J. Stephansen of Stellenbosch University in 1927.


Granitic rock pools and marshy ground in grassland.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 30 - 32.
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 52 - 53. (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 10.