Selaginella imbricata (Forssk.) Spring ex Decne.

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (12)

Selaginella imbricata

Picture: Helen Pickering
In rocks at the top of gorge swing right on the edge of the cliff just east of the parking lot

Selaginella imbricata

Picture: Helen Pickering
In rocks at the top of gorge swing right on the edge of the cliff just east of the parking lot

Specimen citations: Display citations Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Synonyms: Lycopodium imbricatum Forsk.
Common names:
Status: Native
Plants 5-30 cm high, branched in the upper half and each branch again branching 2 or 3 times, deltoid to ovate-lanceolate in outline, branchlets and leaves curling inwards when dry. Stems erect, tufted or closely spaced, 1 to 3 from a stout, shortly creeping rhizome. Leaves green on upper surface, pale creamy green through beige to almost silvery grey on lower surface, dimorphic, closely overlapping. Upper leaves up to 1.6 × 0.7 mm, ovate to oblong-lanceolate in outline, apex rounded, margin toothed, hyaline. Lateral leaves 1.8-2 × 1.0-1.2 mm, asymmetrically broadly ovate in outline, apex pointed, base adnate to the stem, margin lacerate-serrate and hyaline. Strobili 5-11 mm long, at tips of ultimate branches, male below, female above. Sporophylls uniform, ovate, pointed, margin toothed, smaller and more contracted than the sterile leaves.
Type location:
Notes: A very distinctive species, with erect stems and discolorous leaves, that should not be confused with any other Selaginella.
Derivation of specific name: imbricata: overlapping, refers to the strictly overlapping arrangement of the leaves.
Habitat: On dry cliffs and slopes, on thin soil over basaltic rocks in full sun.
Altitude range: 760 - 900 m
Worldwide distribution: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Lk,S
Growth form(s): Lithophyte.
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. Page 26. (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 88 - 89. (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.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 177.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 144 - 145. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 32.

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 26.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 24.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 25 - 26.

Other sources of information about Selaginella imbricata:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Selaginella imbricata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Selaginella imbricata

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Selaginella imbricata., retrieved 5 March 2024

Site software last modified: 10 May 2018 10:51pm
Terms of use