Selaginella tenerrima A. Braun ex Kuhn

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Synonyms: Stachygynandrum tenerrimum (A. Braun ex Kuhn) Carruth.
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
A small erect or subprostrate plant, branched from the base, 2–8 cm high, rarely taller with 2–3 main stems. Stem soft, flexuous, loosely branched, rooting from axils of lower branches, outline of system ovate. Leaves of 2 kinds: the median leaves 1.25–1.75 × 0.25–0.4 mm, lanceolate-elliptic, margins slightly toothed, base truncate, apex gradually tapering into a fine setose point, the bristle-like point equalling the limb and often bent outwards; the lateral leaves 1.25–1.5 × 0.75 mm, ovate-elliptic, margins toothed, apex obtuse or rounded, base unequal, that on the acroscopic side enlarged. Strobilus 3–4 mm long, at the tips of branches, maturing ± simultaneously, with male sporangia only at tips; sporophylls of 2 kinds, similar to, but narrower than their respective leaves and more spiny on margins; dorsal: green, ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the apex, serrulate, keeled; ventral: broadly ovate-lanceolate, long acuminate at apex, ciliate.
Type location:
Notes: This species is small (< 10 cm) without filiform runners, has dimorphic leaves, stems that are ± erect and branched from the base, margins ciliate-dentate.
Derivation of specific name: tenuis: thin, fine, very delicate, referring to the small size of this species.
Habitat: In various types of seasonally moist and shady places: bare soil on steep and rocky slope in evergreen riverside forest; bed of intermittent rivulet; under boulders on bare sand on seasonally flooded river bank; vertical rocks covered with mosses overhang
Altitude range: 750 - 1080 m
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bizzarri, M.P. (1985). Selaginellaceae Flore d' Afrique Centrale National Botanic Garden of Belgium Pages 43 - 44. (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 149 - 150. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 34.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 28.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 28.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 29.

Verdcourt, B. (2005). Selaginellaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Page 22. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Selaginella tenerrima:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Selaginella tenerrima
Flora of Mozambique: Selaginella tenerrima

External websites:

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

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 tenerrima., retrieved 5 March 2024

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