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Marsilea crenata

> Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 16:13:39 -0500
> From: "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
> Subject: 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
> Toronto

I have had great success growing Marsilea crenata in my 100 gallon show
tank as carpeting foreground plant, for over a year with little effort.
It is described by many suppliers as a bog plant, but is listed in the
'Aquarium Plants Manual", by Ines Scheurmann as an aquatic. It is much
more commonly found as an outdoor pond plant. I sell it for $3 per pot,
but you can also find it online from Arizona Aquatic Gardens,
http://www.azgardens.com, and Dan used to carry it as well. Whoever is
buying it for $6 a pot should shop around! The crenata is often labled
as "dwarf four leaf clover" Pond stores also sell big tubs of it. When
grown emersed it seems to grow much taller.

Robert H