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

Marsilea villosa

(Marsilea villosa)

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Description

Marsilea villosa, the ʻihiʻihi (Hawaiian) or villous waterclover (English), is a species of fern that is endemic to the islands of Oʻahu, Molokaʻi and Niʻihau in Hawaii. It is found exclusively in areas that experience periodic flooding and become ephemeral pools within low elevation dry forests and shrublands. Standing water allows the sporocarp to open and release spores. It also enables the resulting sperm to swim toward and fertilize female ova. For new plants to become established, the waters must subside. Sporocarps only form once the soil has dried to a certain level. Like other species in its genus, the leaves of M. villosa resemble those of a four-leaf clover.

Taxonomic tree:

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