Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella njam-njamensis Hieron.






Bryodesma njamnjamense (Hieron.) Sojak

Common name


Plant creeping, olive-green, densely tufted; main stem dorsiventral in position and length of leaves, up to 15 cm long; branches short, 1–2-forked, often recurved at apices when dry; roots scattered along length of plant, up to 3.5 cm long. Leaves dimorphic; median (upper) leaves linear-lanceolate,base adnate, apex gradually tapering into a short opaque yellowish-white seta up to 1/4 the length of the lamina, margins with tooth-like cilia towards apex and longer ones towards base; also often some denticles by the midrib on surface towards the apex, ± 2 × 0.25 mm; lateral (under) leaves more linear, slightly longer, up to 2.5 mm long. Strobili 3–10 x 1.2–1.3 mm; sporophylls in 4 ranks, those on the upper side lanceolate, ± 2 x 1 mm, gradually tapering to a sharp point, with ciliate margins and those on the lower side slightly longer and broader.



njam-njamensis: type specimen collected by Schweinfurth in Njam-njam, Sudan.


Rocky places ; rocky slopes in open bushland, wet peaty patches on granite outcrops and in crevices, shallow humus pockets on flat granite rocks in open woodland.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Bizzarri, M.P. (1985) Selaginellaceae.Flore d' Afrique Centrale, Pages 10 - 13. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 33.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 25.
  • 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 26.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 23.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2005) Selaginellaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 7. (Includes a picture).