Marsilea farinosa Launert
subsp. farinosa

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Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa

Photo: Petra Ballings

Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa

Photo: Petra Ballings

Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa

Photo: Petra Ballings

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Floating form: stipe up to 20 cm long. Leaflets up to 10-21 × 11-22 mm, broadly obdeltate, almost hairless,outer margin rounded, wavy. Dry land form: stipe up to 12 cm long, with bristly hairs. Leaflets up to 4-15 × 3-15 mm, obdeltate, set with a mixture of hairs, becoming subglabrous with age, outer margins lobed. Sporocarps: in clusters, bean-shaped, 4.5-7 mm long, 2.5-4.5 mm high, 1.5-2.25 mm thick, upper side straight or concave, under and outer side rounded, vertical cross-section rectangular; lateral ribs 8-11, not conspicuous in mature specimens; lower tooth absent or very shallow hump, upper tooth present, sharply obtuse to acute. Sporocarp densely covered with hairs of 2 kinds, erect and flattened appressed, which in the dried state cause the powdery greyish appearance of the sporocarp. Sporocarps set at an angle of 90° to the pedicel; pedicels 8-15 mm, erect or arching, free, arising from the axil of the stipe, with bristly hairs.
Notes: It differs from other species by its hispid appearance created by the 2 kinds of hairs.
Derivation of specific name: farinosa: powdery or with meal-like covering, alluding to the greyish appearance created by the hairs that cover much of the plant.
Habitat: Woodland and dry woodland savanne in dry, sandy riverbeds and seasonal vleis and pans.
Altitude range: 250 - 1800 m
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: GI
Growth form(s): Aquatic, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 73 - 74. (Includes a picture).

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 244 - 246. (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 12.

Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds) (2003). Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14 Page 76.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 481 - 482. Not divided into different subspecies. (Includes a picture).

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 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Pages 175 - 176.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 56.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 65. Not divided into different subspecies (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 15.

Other sources of information about Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Marsilea farinosa subsp. farinosa., retrieved 12 April 2024

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