Pilularia - Marsileaceae

Pilularia bokkeveldensis N.R.Crouch






Pilularia americana sensu Roux (2002)

Common name


Rhizome creeping, subterranean, irregularly branched, up to 0.5 mm in diameter; single roots or root clusters at nodes, roots unbranched; internodes op to 1.1 cm long, sparsely hairy with multicellular hairs when young. Fronds single at nodes, erect, cylindrical or slightly tapering, up to 1.9 cm long, simple, partially subterranean, aerial portions green, underground portions whitish. Sporocarps globose, up to 2.5 mm in diameter, 4-locular, densely hairy with multicellular hairs, growing on or close to the ground at maturity although initialy growing downwards buried in soil; pedicel slender, up to 2 mm long, 1 arising from the axil of the stipe. Megasporangia 32-68 per sporocarp, each bearing a single globose megaspore up to 0.36 mm in diameter, with single prominent ridged apical papilla up to 0.1 mm long. Microsporangia clavate, several per sporocarp, each with 23-32 micropores.



bokkeveldensis: from the Bokkeveld in the Nothern Cape, from where the type has been recorded.


Edge of a seasonal pan in an area of low winter rainfall, on sandstone.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form

Aquatic, terrestrial.


  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 224 - 225. (Includes a picture).