Marsilea the Water clover
Genus: Marsilea (mar-SIL-ee-uh)
Marsilea is a bog type fern that resembles a four leaf clover , growing in constantly moist parts of the landscape, rooting themselves deeply into the mud. There are over 60 species and depending on the species can take cold to zone 3 all the way to tropical species.
The life cycle of the Marsilea is very complex and the spore can be viable for up to a 100 years. Once the spore lands in water it can complete it's life cycle in 10 to 15 hours. The spores will germinate within minutes the sori resemble grains of white rice arranged in a row
. Within a few more minutes the sori will release the small male and much larger female spores and they will quickly germinate and fertile in the water. After a week the female spores will look like white dots and at that point they are ready to be placed on wet sand or mud with an eyedropper. Marsilea will mature in 12 to 18 months.
They have long creeping rhizomes, and depending on the species grow 3" to 12" tall . These are a novelty fern in that they don't look like a typical fern at all. We can simulate a bog area by placing a potted Marsilea in 4" of water, this will keep it at the moister it needs to excel.