Pteridophytes (Spore Producing Plants: Ferns and More) • Earth.com

Waterclover

(Marsilea mutica)

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Description

Marsilea is a genus of approximately 65 species of aquatic ferns of the family Marsileaceae. The name honours Italian naturalist Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (1656–1730). These small plants are of unusual appearance and do not resemble common ferns. Common names include water clover and four-leaf clover because the long-stalked leaves have four clover-like lobes and are either held above water or submerged. The sporocarps of some Australian species are very drought-resistant, surviving up to 100 years in dry conditions. On wetting, the gelatinous interior of the sporocarp swells, splitting it and releasing a worm-like mass that carries sori, eventually leading to germination of spores and fertilization.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order:Salviniales
Family:Marsileaceae
Genus:Marsilea
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