Seasonal herbs, aquatic, subaquatic or terrestrial in moist places, rhizome creeping with well-spaced fronds, solenostelic, clothed with hairs. Leaves long and filiform without leaflets, or with 2 or 4 leaflets at the apex of a long filiform stalk, veins in the leaflets several times forked, free to the margin or casually anastomosing, glabrous or hairy. Sporangia borne in sori in sporocarps (conceptacles), with a single large megaspore or numerous minute microspores, both types in the same sorus, the sori in 2 rows in the sporocarp, the sporocarps solitary or in groups, axillary, or inserted on the petiole; spores trilete.
A cosmopolitan family of 3 genera with c. 70 species. So far, only a single species of Marsilea has been recorded from Papuasia.
Croft, J.R. 1985. Marsileaceae. In Leach, G.J. & Osborne, P.L., Fresh water plants of Papua New Guinea. Univ. P.N.G., Port Moresby. pp. 48 - 50.
Johns, R.J. 1981. The ferns and fern-allies of Papua New Guinea. Part 10: the Marsileaceae. P.N.G. Univ. Tech. Res. Rep. R 48-81: 33.1 - 33.3.
Launert, E. 1968. A monographic survey of the genus Marsilea Linneaus. 1. The species of Africa and Madagascar. Senck. Biol. 49: 273 - 315.
Tindale, M.D. 1953. Studies in Australian pteridophytes, No. 1. Contrib. N.S.W. Nat. Herb. 2: 5 - 12. (Marsilea)
|A single genus in Papuasia ...||Marsilea (1)|
The cryptic genus Pilularia occurs in Australia and may well occurn in New Guinea as well. It is smaller and finer than most Marsilea and has a find tapering stem-like leaf without the radial leaf-lobes of Marsilea.
Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (email@example.com)