Marsila named after Count Luigi Ferdiando Masili (1658-1730), an Italian scholar and eminent natural scientist, whose name was Latinised as Marsilius. Drummondii named after James Drummond (1786-1863), a Scottish born botanist and naturalist who was the curator of the government gardens in Cork, Ireland and an early settler in Western Australia.
Distribution and status
Found across South Australia except on the Nullarbor and Kangaroo Island, growing on wet mud and clay, in swamps, waterholes, shallow depressions and ephemeral streams. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Rhizome sometimes woody herb, densely hairy when young. Fronds solitary or in clusters at nodes on a long stalk to 30 cm with four equally arranged leaflets, broadly obovate, to 30 mm long, both surfaces densely hairy or, when aquatic, almost glabrous, grey-green, entire or shallowly to deeply crenate. This species is very similar to Marsilea hirsuta, which differ by having larger sporocarps on very long stalks and more hairy leaves. Fruits are orange-brown oblong-ellipsoid pod (sporocarp), to 9 mm long and 3 mm wided, smooth to slightly ribbed covered in dense hairs on a stalk longer than the pod. Seeds are fine spores.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and December.