Azolla nilotica Decne. ex Mett.

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Azolla nilotica

Photo: Petra Ballings

Azolla nilotica

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Rhizome up to 2 mm in diameter, up to 32 cm long, horizontal, hairy, branched. Secondary branches alternately pinnately arranged. Roots numerous, in fascicles from the nodes, hairy. Leaves 2-lobed; upper lobe up to 2 mm long, broadly ovate to elliptic in outline, apex rounded to broadly pointed, green, papillate in the centre, margins forming a broad translucent wing; lower lobe colourless, smaller and thin. Plant heterosporous, sporocarps in the leaf axils, only on the older parts of the plant.
Notes: A. nilotica has a thick cluster of roots at the nodes, whereas A. pinnata and A. filiculoides have a single, or 2 or 3 roots from the nodes.
Derivation of specific name: nilotica: from the valley of the Nile, this fern was first collected on the Nile.
Habitat: Wet mud and shallow water in stagnant or sluggish streams.
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Burundi, DRC, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambiqua, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: Z,T,MS
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
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 82 - 83. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 83.

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 9.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 493 - 494. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 122 - 123.

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 5.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 179.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 70 - 71. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Azolla nilotica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Azolla nilotica
Flora of Malawi: Azolla nilotica
Flora of Zambia: Azolla nilotica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Azolla nilotica

External websites:

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

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: Azolla nilotica., retrieved 19 April 2024

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