Marsilea Spp.

Marsilea Spp.

  • Marsilea spp .jpg
    Marsilea spp .jpg
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  • Marsilea spp bilobate leaf.jpg
    Marsilea spp bilobate leaf.jpg
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  • Marsilea spp emersed.jpg
    Marsilea spp emersed.jpg
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  • Marsilea spp overall.jpg
    Marsilea spp overall.jpg
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    Marsilea spp. top view right side.jpg
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Under Construction.

General Description

Common Names - Synonyms
Water clover (several species)
Nardoo (several species)
Origin - Distribution
  1. Asia
Level of Difficulty
Beginner / Easy
0-10cm (0-3.9 Inches) High
0-10cm (0-3.9 Inches) Wide
Growth Rate
Light Requirements
Medium Light (35-50 PAR)
Co2 Requirements
Recommended (Medium light)
Temperature Tolerance
18 to 30 °C
PH Range
5 to 8 
Plant Type
Rhizome / Creeping stem
Carbonate Hardness (dKH)
0 to 14 °dKH
Can Be Grown Emmersed?
Marsilea spp are amphibious ferns that are rooted in the substrate with submersed, floating and aerial leaves. The floating and aerial leaves resemble a four-leafed clover. The submersed leaf shape is influenced by environmental factors and can have four, tree, two or one lobes. The leaves are arranged mainly in 2 rows on the creeping rhizome with developed roots at the base. In typical fern fashion the young leaves are rolled.

In nature it is mostly found in slow flowing or stagnant water. However, in aquariums it is an adaptable plant being able to grown at lower light levels. Although taller leaves may be observed if the plant is shaded or crowded, it will often send the rhizome in shaded areas such as under the hardscape or in the background plants.

When planting a new carpet, 2-3 leaves per rhizome are enough to start a new plant under the right conditions. If space is available it will branch readily. The leaf size depends on the specie and light available but can start from aprox. 0.5cm. It easily adapts to aerial growth.


Photo 1 to 4: Unidentified Marsilea spp. from trade. Source : Mihai Zamfir (Allwissend), 2017. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Photo 5: Reviving, emersed culture of Marsilea spp. Source: DutchMuch, 2017. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Plant information

Added by
Jason King
Last update

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