Selaginella mittenii Baker

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Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Crossing Musapa Pequeno, road to Chikukwa

Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Northern slopes below Mt Dombe, Chimanimani Mts

Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Swanepoel Concession, Cheringoma

Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Swanepoel Concession, Cheringoma

Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Swanepoel Concession, Cheringoma

Selaginella mittenii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Swanepoel Concession, Cheringoma

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: selaginella cooperi Baker
Selaginella depressa sensu Sim
Selaginella mackenii Baker
Selaginella tectissima Baker
Selaginella welwitschii Baker
Common names:
Status: Native
Plant creeping, moss-like, branched repeatedly, rooting for most of its length, flattened against the ground. Leaves dimorphic; lateral leaves ovate-elliptic in outline, spreading, 2 × 1.1 mm, base unequally cordate, apex pointed, margin minutely toothed, larger than median leaves; median leaves elliptic, pointed, up to 1.2 mm long. Leaves bright green, curl beneath the stem when dry. Strobili situated on the end of the branches, 4-8 mm long; sporophylls similar to the median leaves, in 4 lines.
Notes: Can be distinguished from Selaginella kraussiana which has bigger lateral leaves and a more springy habit (it does not lay appressed to the ground like S. mittenii)
Derivation of specific name: mittenii: named after W. Mitten, British bryologist
Habitat: In moist evergreen forest or deciduous woodland, along earth-or streambank or in rocky areas, in lee of boulders in grassland, exposed or deeply shaded.
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Sudan, Eswatini, South Africa
Mozambique distribution: N,MS
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 29 December 2017

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 29. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 81.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 50.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 32.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 94 - 95. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 15.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 145 - 146. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 33.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 10.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 27. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 25.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 26.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 16.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 80.

Other sources of information about Selaginella mittenii:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Selaginella mittenii
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Selaginella mittenii
Flora of Malawi: Selaginella mittenii
Flora of Zambia: Selaginella mittenii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Selaginella mittenii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Selaginella mittenii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Selaginella mittenii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Selaginella mittenii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Selaginella mittenii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Selaginella mittenii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Selaginella mittenii
JSTOR Plant Science: Selaginella mittenii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Selaginella mittenii
Plants of the World Online: Selaginella mittenii
Tropicos: Selaginella mittenii
Wikipedia: Selaginella mittenii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Selaginella mittenii., retrieved 27 September 2023

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