Selaginella perpusilla Baker

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Selaginella perpusilla

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Common names:
Status: Native
Plant creeping, moss-like; stem 10-25 mm long, rarely branched. Leaves dimorphic; lateral leaves ovate-elliptic in outline, apex pointed, margins toothed, 1.5-1.75 × 0.75-1 mm, larger than median leaves; median leaves ovate in outline, apex tapering to a point, 0.8-1 × 0.35 mm. Strobili situated on the end of the branches, 1.5-3 mm long; sporophylls slightly larger than the leaves, of 2 kinds.
Notes: One record in southern Africa: Lundi river bridge in southern Zimbabwe.
Can be seperated from S. mittenii by its paler green colour, also the leaves of S. perpusilla do not curl when dry.
Derivation of specific name: perpusilla: very small, referring to the size of this fern.
Habitat: Damp sandy soil, seepage zone among granite outcrops in mixed deciduous Brachystegia woodland.
Altitude range: (metres) 580 m (approx)
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zanzibar, DRC, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Vulnerable
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 22. (Includes a picture).

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 169.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 149. (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 10.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 27.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 26.

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

Other sources of information about Selaginella perpusilla:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Selaginella perpusilla
Flora of Malawi: Selaginella perpusilla

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Selaginella perpusilla., retrieved 4 March 2024

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