Marsilea villifolia Brem. & Oberm. ex Alston & Schelpe

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Synonyms: Marsilea villosa Burchell ex Bremek. & Oberm.
Zaluzianskya villosa (Kaulf.) Kuntze
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Dry land form: stipe 7-20 cm long, very robust, up to 2.5 mm in diameter near the base. Leaflets broadly obdeltate, flanks slightly concave, outer margins irregularly crenate, rarely entire, thickly herbaceous, densely covered with silvery, silky hairs. Sporocarps: solitary, 5-6 mm long, 4-5 mm high, 1-1.5 mm thick; square to obtusely rectangular in lateral view, rectangular in dorsoventral cross-section, with or without a dorsifrontal groove, with densely appressed long hairs, gradually becoming hairless; lateral ribs not visible in fully mature specimens; lower tooth absent or just visible as a shallow hump, upper tooth not very conspicuous, rather short, broadly conical, obtuse; pedicels 4-7 mm long, erect or declined to rhizome, free, with appressed long hairs, arising from the axil of the stipe.
Notes: M. villiflolia differs from other species by a combination of characters: its robust habit with much thicker stipes, the sporocarps that appear solitary at the base of the stipes and the pinnae that are densely covered with silky, silvery hairs.
Derivation of specific name: villifolia: with villous leaves; a distinctive characteristic of this species is that the leaves bear long, weak hairs.
Habitat: Seasonally dry pans and dry riverbeds, and along rivers.
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
Botswana distribution: N,SE
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 76 - 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 256 - 257. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 486. (Includes a picture).

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 Pages 64 - 65. (Includes a picture).

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 villifolia:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Marsilea villifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Marsilea villifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Marsilea villifolia
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Marsilea villifolia
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Marsilea villifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Marsilea villifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Marsilea villifolia
iNaturalist: Marsilea villifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Marsilea villifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Marsilea villifolia
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Marsilea villifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Marsilea villifolia
Plants of the World Online: Marsilea villifolia
Tropicos: Marsilea villifolia
Wikipedia: Marsilea villifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Marsilea villifolia., retrieved 27 May 2022

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