Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella eublepharis A. Braun apud Hieron.






Selaginella vogelii sensu Baker

Common name


Plants bluish-green from a robust, wide-creeping rhizome; erect stems 20–50 cm, branched and sparsely hairy beneath in the upper 1/2. Outline of branch-system broadly ovate to lanceolate, acute or rarely flagelliform at the apex; secondary branches broadly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate in outline dichotomising 2–6 times; ultimate branchlets 0.6–1.5 cm long; the lowermost basiscopic tertiary branch conspicuously larger than the acroscopic one. Leaves heteromorphic; stem-leaves ovate-lanceolate in outline, apex gradually tapering to a sharp point, margins finely serrate, becoming ciliate at the cordate clasping base, 2–3 mm long; median leaves similar, 3 mm long, apex abruptly tapered into whitish seta 1/4 as long as leaf; lateral leaves (of secondary branches) linear with an acute apex or linear-lanceolate, adnate at the base, margin sinuous, sparsely toothed becoming ciliate towards the base, 4 x 1 mm. Strobili 1.0–1.5 cm, at tips of ultimate branches, maturing ± simultaneously, bearing sporangia at the base and towards the top; sporophylls of 1 kind, broadly ovate tapering to a setose apex, margins dentate becoming ciliate at the base. Megaspores of 2 sizes.


Can be distinguished from other species by its erect habit, upper stems that are hairy below, branchlets that do not curl when dry and leaves that are concolorous.


eu: well, blepharis: bristle; referring to the setaceous median leaves and sporophylls.


Coastal forest and bushland, shady river banks, valley bottoms, riverine forest, tidal creeks, rocky hillsides and grassland, rock faces with running water.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania .

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 147 - 148. (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 22.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 26.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 27.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2005) Selaginellaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 10.