Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella vanderystii Bizzari






Common name


Plant low, small, sub-erect or erect plant, with a slender main stem, up to 3–4 cm long, branched from the base, straw-yellow; rhizophores only in the lower part, filiform, straw-yellow, around 0.5 cm long, hairless; branches short, bipinnate, diverging 45º with the stem. Leaves all heteromorphic, thin, yellow-green, with an inconspicuous midrib; lateral leaves less than once their length apart on main stem, imbricated on branches, 1.5–1.6 x 0.6–0.7 mm, rounded at base , acute, inequilateral, acroscopic half-face half-ovate, long ciliate towards base and ciliate towards apex, basiscopic half-face narrowly semi-oblong, margin entire or loosely and finely denticulate; middle leaves imbricated, c. 1 x 0.5–0.6 mm, ovate, slightly unequal, rounded at base, ciliate at edges, awned, with awn up to 1/5 of blade (reaching about 0.2 mm in length); axillary leaves c. 1.5 x 0.6–0.7 mm, oblong-lanceolate, rounded at base, ciliate at edges, acute at apex. Strobes solitary at the top of the branches, 3–4 x 1.6–1.7 mm. Sporophylls dimorphic; dorsal sporophylls greenish yellow, 1–1.1 x c. 0.4 mm, oblong-lanceolate, slightly unequal, truncate at base, shortly ciliate at margins, acute at apex, keeled, with hyaline keel , long ciliate; ventral sporophylls hyaline, c. 0.8 mm long and 0.4 mm wide, ovate, cochleariform, rounded at base, ciliate at margins, long acuminate at apex. Megaspores around 180 μm in diameter, yellow. Microspores unknown.



vanderystii: named after H. Vanderyst (1860-1934), botanist, he discovered this fern in Kipasa DRC.


On rocks.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo.

Growth form



  • Bizzarri, M.P. (1985) Selaginellaceae.Flore d' Afrique Centrale, Pages 44 - 46. (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 28.