Marsilea vera Launert

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Common names:
Status: Native
Floating form: stipe 13-30 cm long, hairless to slightly hairy. Leaflets 7-17 × 5.5-15 mm, obovate to obdeltate, outer margin entire to slightly irregular, hairless. Dry land form: stipe up to 21 cm long. Leaflets 5-20 × 4-19 mm, narrowly obovate-obdeltate, outer margins irregularly incised, slightly hairy to hairless. Sporocarps: solitairy, buried in the soil; 3.5-7 mm long, 3-5 mm high, up to 3 mm thick; old specimens blackish, sub-rectangular to broadly elliptic in lateral view, vertical cross-section elliptic to rectangular, usually without a groove on upper and outer side; densely appressed hairy; lower tooth absent, upper tooth short, broadly conical, obtuse; pedicels up to c.10 mm long, straight or curved, growing downwards thus burying the sporocarp into the soil, hairless.
Notes: It can be distinguished from other species by sporocarps that grow downwards into the ground, also there are no translucent streaks present in the leaflets.
Derivation of specific name: vera: verutum: javelin; which, like the sporocarps of this fern, pegs itself into the ground.
Habitat: Deciduous woodland, usually in sandy soils along the margins of seasonal pans and vleis
Altitude range: (metres) 1000 - 1650 m
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: W
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. Page 78. (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 258 - 259. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 560. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 486 - 487. (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 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 177.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 58.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 65.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 15.

Other sources of information about Marsilea vera:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Marsilea vera

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Marsilea vera., retrieved 5 December 2023

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