Plants of
South Australia
Marsilea hirsuta
Marsileaceae
Short-fruit Nardoo
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Extinct
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 10.

Etymology

Marsila named after Count Luigi Ferdiando Masili (1658-1730), an Italian scholar and eminent natural scientist, whose name was Latinised as Marsilius. Hirsuta from the Latin 'hirsutus' meaning hairy; referring to the species being covered in hairs.

Distribution and status

Found across South Australia except in the Nullarbor and Kangaroo Island, growing on drying mud in swamps, waterholes, shallow depressions and ephemeral streams. Also found in all mainland state Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Rhizome herb, hairy when young but beming glabrous. Fronds solitary or in clusters at nodes on a long stalk to 18 cm with four equally arranged leaflets, narrowly to broadly obovate, to 20 mm long, moderately hairy to almost glabrous when fully aquatic, outer margin rounded, entire or slightly crenate. This species is very similar to Marsilea drummond, which differ by having smaller sporocarps on very short stalks and usually less hairy leaves. Fruits are brown bean-shaped pod (sporocarp) to 3mm long and 2 mm wide, slightly ribbed, densely hairy, on stalk shorter than the pod. Seeds are fine spores.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA1,000 (2.85 g)50+26-Sep-2008DJD869
Lake Eyre
1-Nov-2016100%-18°C, -80°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.