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Marsilea vestita Hook. & Grev.
Hairy Water-clover, Hairy Waterclover, Hairy Water Clover, Clover Fern
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 cm.
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Non-flowering, sporulating plant. Sporulates Apr - Oct.
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Cold Tolerant: yes
BenefitUse Ornamental: Good in water gardens, but should be potted to keep it in bounds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate
PropagationPropagation 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...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1122 Collected Feb 22, 1995 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
BibliographyBibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Marsilea vestita in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Marsilea vestita in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Marsilea vestita
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-26
Research By: NPIS, ADA, LAL