Share

Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    

Marsilea vestita (Hairy water clover)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Marsilea vestita

Marsilea vestita Hook. & Grev.

Hairy water clover, Water clover

Marsileaceae (Water-Clover Family)

Synonym(s): Marsilea fournieri, Marsilea minuta, Marsilea mucronata, Marsilea tenuifolia, Marsilea uncinata, Marsilea vestita ssp. tenuifolia, Marsilea vestita ssp. vestita, Marsilea vestita var. mucronata

USDA Symbol: mave2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Small aquatic or wetland plant, forming dense colonies in mud or shallow water. Leaves produced on long petioles, 2 to 20 mm.

Marsilea vestita looks like a four-leaf clover, but is really a relative of ferns. Bright green leaves are lush in moist soil or a pond. Grows very vigorously and may become a nuisance if not kept in check. Try it in a pot without drainage holes and keep moist. If foliage becomes dried or brown, cut it back. New growth regenerates quickly if kept moist. It is less aggressive and has smoother leaves than Marsilea macropoda.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Size Notes: Less than 1
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Related to ferns, has spores.

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , FL , IA , ID , KS , LA , MN , MS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatachewan south through much of the western and southeastern United States to Mexico. Western South America. In Texas, rare on the Edwards Plateau, in Travis county in the Blackland prairies, and in the south part of the plains country.
Native Habitat: On the edge of lakes, in shallow beds of creeks, and in periodically inundated depressions.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes
Cold Tolerant: yes

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Good in water gardens, but should be potted to keep it in bounds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division
Maintenance: If becomes too aggressive, thin it out. If foliage becomes dried or brown, cut it back. New growth regenerates quickly if kept moist.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Ground cover for partly sunny, wet area in Cypress, TX
March 19, 2007
I am in need of a ground cover to plant in an area close to our entryway. The area is shady to partly sunny, holds water in rainy weather, and has a shrub border. We are in Texas. Any ideas? Thank...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 1122 Collected Feb 22, 1995 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

Bibliography

Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Marsilea vestita in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Marsilea vestita in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Marsilea vestita

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2009-03-08
Research By: NPIS, ADA, LAL

Go back