Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella shabaensis Bizzari






Common name


Plant creeping, moss-like, slender, branched; main stem up to 10 cm long; rhizophores filiform, 0.5-2 cm long. Leaves spiral, clearly distinct from the stem in colour, subdimorphic, narrowly triangular-lanceolate in outline, apex subacuminate and terminated by a white awn, entire or with loose and fine teeth, clearly distinct from the blade, not changing over time, glabrous, glaucous green, with a midrib not quite reaching the apex, base adnate, margin entire or slightly and loosely toothed towards apex, teeth very short, conical, barely visible; upper leaves 1.8–2 x 0.4 mm, subplanar, awned 0.2 mm long; lower leaves 2.1–2.4 x 0.4 mm, slightly recurved, thick, awned 0.3 mm long. Strobili not yet known in mature state, dorsiventral, short. Sporophylls in four rows; upper sporophylls lanceolate, cochleariform, c. 2.2 x 0.7 mm, rounded at base, loosely and finely toothed at margins, acuminate and awned at apex, awn 0.4–0 .5mm long; lower sporophylls ovate, cochleariform, 2.7–2.8 x 1.1–1.2 mm, rounded at base, densely and irregularly toothed to ciliate at margins, acuminate and awned at apex, with awn 0.5–0.6 mm long; heteroporus.


This species is closely related to S. njamnjamensis. It differs from it by the following characters: plant more slender in all its parts, especially in the stem; leaf margin entire, finely and loosely denticulate towards the apex, with very short, conical, barely visible denticulates, with a white awn, clearly distinct from the blade by color. This species is known only by type (Flore d' Afrique Centrale 1985).


shabaensis: from Shaba, Shaba Province, name of Katanga Province in present DRC; or Shaba Plateau, a farming and ranching region in the DRC, located in the southeastern Katanga Province.


Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo.

Growth form



  • Bizzarri, M.P. (1985) Selaginellaceae.Flore d' Afrique Centrale, Pages 9 - 10.
  • 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 27.