Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella kivuensis Bizarri






Common name


Plant erect, with main stem up to 20 cm long and 0.6–0.8 mm in diam., cylindrical, branched, straw-yellow; rhizophores only in the lower part, forming a right angle with the stem, yellow-green, up to 5 cm long and 0.4–0.5 mm in diameter; branches probably in more than two rows, diverging at 45º from the main stem, pinnate. Leaves heteromorphic, yellow-green on the dorsal side, paler on the ventral side, usually provided with a hyaline margin; side leaves 1.7–1.8 mm apart on main stem and close together on branches, c. 2 x 1.1 mm, midrib inconspicuous, margin entire, acute , unequilateral, basiscopic half-face half-oval to lanceolate, rounded at base, acroscopic half-face half-oblong, truncate at base; middle leaves c. 1 mm apart on main stem, imbricated on branches, c. 1.2 x 0.8 mm, broadly elliptical, slightly unequal, rounded at base, entire on the edges, distinctly acuminate at the apex; axillary leaves c. 1.6 x 0.8 mm, ovate-lanceolate, slightly unequal, entire, acute at apex. Strobili solitary at branch tips, c. 0.8 x 2 mm. Sporophylls dimorphic; dorsal sporophylls yellow-green, 1.4–1.5 x c. 0.7 mm, ovate-lanceolate, slightly unequal, rounded at base, entire margin, acute at apex, keeled, green-keeled pale, whole; ventral sporophylls hyaline, c. 1 x 0.6–0.7 mm, broadly ovate-triangular, margin entire. Megaspores unknown. Vermilion microspores.



kivuensis: from Kivu, this plant was first collected in Irangi, South Kivu, DRC.


Dense forest, in fairly dry conditions, on the shaded edges of rivers and on the stones at the edge of falls; between 750 and 1550 m altitude.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko).

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Bizzarri, M.P. (1985) Selaginellaceae.Flore d' Afrique Centrale, Pages 51 - 52. (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 24.