Marsilea - Marsileaceae

Marsilea fadeniana Launert






Common name


Rhizome creeping, branched, at first hairy at the nodes but soon glabrescent; internodes 0.3–1.2(–5) cm long, 0.5–1.5 mm thick. Stipes 3–7 mm long, sparsely set with long hairs or hairless, smooth, often narrowly striate. Leaflets triangular to triangular obovate in outline, 0.7–2 cm long, 0.5–1.7 cm wide, base wedge-shaped, entire to erose-crenate at margin, sparsely set with greyish long hairs when young, often hairless when adult. Sporocarps borne above surface, in groups of 3–6, not deflexed towards petiole, sessile or very shortly pedicellate, subrectangular or obliquely semi-elliptic in outline, 4.5–6 mm long, 3.2–3.8 mm wide, moderately compressed, adpressed pilose; lateral veins distinct up to ventral margin; superior tooth shortly conical, acute or subacute; inferior tooth indistinct, obtuse. Sori 7–9.


Differs from other species by the complete absence of a marked pedicel. The base of the clustered sporocarps is situated on a short tapering blackish conical base, inserted at the rhizome at the base of the stipe.


fadeniana: named after Robert B. Faden, Associate Curator of the Smithsonian Institution.


Dry streambed, seasonal waterhole in dry bushland zone.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa


Growth form



  • Launert, E. (2003) Marsileaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 12 - 13. (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 56.