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RE: Marsilea

>Subject: Info on Marsilea quadrifolia (Four Leaved Water Clover)

Dave, I know of no online reference for this plant but here is the listing
from The Complete Book of Aquarium Plants by Allgayer and Teton (it's out of
print so I doubt anyone will mind). The comments in square brackets are mine

"Marsilea - this is a genus of amphibious ferns, similar to Pillularia and
Regnellidium. There are about 65 species with creeping rhizomes which divide
in the reproductive process. Very few of these species can be kept in an
aquarium; exceptions are Marsilea crenata, M. drummondii, M. exarata and,
less frequently, M. quadrifolia, though none of these is easy to maintain.
The leaves take various forms but are divided into four lobes; hence the
common name of Marsh Trefoil or Clover. M. quadrifolia is unfortunately
threatened with extinction in Europe.

These various species can only be told apart by their immersed form [???]
and their spores. When immersed, the leaves close up at night. The rhizome
creeps along the ground and produces a number of fronds which, if there is
sufficient light, will reach the surface of the water. Ideally, they should
be grown in reasonably soft water which is slightly acid. Eventually, the
plant will turn yellow and die soon afterwards. In a paludarium the fronds
grow slightly longer."

If you are looking for a source for these, I'd suggest that we are coming up
on the perfect time of year - I've seen them more often in pond catalogues
and nurseries than in aquarium stores. Most places will be stocking up
within the next few months for summer plant sales.

James Purchase