Marsilea subterranea Leprieur ex A. Braun

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Common names:
Status: Native
Densely caespitose plant, often forming large colonies; rhizome slender, wiry, repeatedly branched, glabrous except for the usually villous nodes; internodes 0.5–5 cm long. Stipes rather slender, wiry, erect, straight or curved, 1–10(–15) cm long, usually quite glabrous, rarely scattered pilose. Leaflets grass-green to olive-green, obtriangular to narrowly obtriangular, usually slightly asymmetrical, 6–11(–15) mm long, 4–8(–11) mm wide, with the sides curved inwards or straight, outer edge rounded to almost straight, irregularly crenate or dentate, rarely entire, with long linear pellucid streaks between the veins (the edges of these streaks, which are formed by sclerenchymatic tissue, appear prominent as parallel ridges on the lower surface of the leaflets), scattered pilose to almost glabrous. Pedicels free at the base, spreading or deflexed, flexuous, often encircling the entire sporocarp, usually growing downwards and thus burying the sporocarp in the soil, terete, rather slender, 4–12(–14) mm long. Sporocarps usually crowded at the very base of the stipes, brown, broadly elliptic to oblong-elliptic in lateral view, elliptic in the dorso-ventral cross-section, 3.5–4.5 mm long, 2.7–3.3 mm wide, 1.8–2.5 mm thick, not bordered, always densely brownish tomentose; lateral ribs 6–12, visible to a varying degree, rarely invisible; inferior tooth represented as the somewhat recurved apex of the raphe, always distinct, prominent, obtuse; superior tooth obsolete, just indicated by a circular area above the inferior one, very rarely slightly raised.
Notes: Mentioned only in Roux 2001 and Burrows 1993 as occuring in Malawi. Burrows (1993): S. 2 km N of Mangochi, Berrie 316.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Seasonally flooded pans and pools
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania
Malawi distribution: S
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. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 83.

Launert, E. (2003). Marsileaceae F.T.E.A. Page 5. (Includes a picture).

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

Other sources of information about Marsilea subterranea:

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Marsilea subterranea., retrieved 22 April 2024

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