Marsilea capensis A. braun

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Common names:
Status: Native
Floating form: stipe up to 20 cm long, slender, flexible; leaflets narrowly obdeltate to obdeltate-obovate, outer margin 2-lobate, crenate or rarely entire, at first with appressed long hairs, later becoming hairless. Sporocarps: dark brown to almost black at maturity, 2.75-3.75 mm long, 2.25-3.5 mm high, 0.8-1.25 mm thick, obliquely broad-oblong or irregularly rhombic in lateral view, distally obliquely truncate or more rarely rounded, narrowly elliptic in dorsoventral cross-section, laterally compressed or only slightly inflated; at first densely set with long hairs, becoming hairless when mature; lateral ribs absent; lower tooth absent or very rarely present as a shallow hump, upper tooth present, short, conical, acute or subacute; pedicels 4-7 mm long, slender, erect or ascending, free from each other, solitary, arising from the axil of the stipe.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: capensis: from the Cape of Good Hope, from where this species was first described.
Habitat: Along rivers, in river back-waters, in seasonally swamped grassland, and in water holes.
Altitude range: Up to 1500 m
Worldwide distribution: Egypt, Namibia, south Africa, Zambia, probably also in Ieaq and Iran.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Lk
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 78 - 79. (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 260 - 261. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 487 - 488. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 120.

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

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 55.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 66 - 67. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Marsilea capensis:

External websites:

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

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: Marsilea capensis., retrieved 4 March 2024

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