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Marsilea quadrifolia - L.

Common Name Water Clover, European waterclover
Family Marsileaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Ponds and paddy fields all over Japan[58].
Range C. Europe to Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Marsilea quadrifolia Water Clover, European waterclover


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Pilularia_globulifera0.jpg
Marsilea quadrifolia Water Clover, European waterclover
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Keisotyo

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Marsilea quadrifolia is a FERN growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Young stems and leaves[105, 145]. A famine food, only used in times of scarcity[218]. The spores are produced in a sporocarp (like a fairly large container) and in allied species this is ground up and mixed with flour etc and used in making bread etc. It is rich in starch[144].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidote;  Antiphlogistic;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Skin.

A juice made from the leaves is diuretic and febrifuge[218]. It is also used to treat snakebite and applied to abscesses etc[218]. The plant is anti-inflammatory, diuretic, depurative, febrifuge and refrigerant[147, 178, 218].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a permanently moist or wet soil, it can be grown by the side of ponds etc or in the shallow edges of the pond[56]. Thrives in a turfy loam or in peat[1]. Hardy to about -15°c[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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Propagation

Spores. The plant produces sporocarps, these need to be lightly abraded and then immersed in water. The sporocarps will then swell and burst to release the spores. The spores germinate immediately, the highly developed prothallus remains inside the large seed-like spores. The gametophyte generation is completed in 24 hours and the first roots and shoots appear in 2 - 3 days. Mature plants bearing sporocarps can develop in as little as 3 months[200]. Spore germination in the family occurs after rupture of the sporocarp wall allows the sporocarp contents to be hydrated. A gelatinous structure emerges from the sporocarp, breaking it into valves and carrying the sori into the water. Spore germination (gametophyte growth) and fertilization occur immediately[270]. Division.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Marsilea drummondiiCommon Nardoo, Nardoo10
Marsilea muticaNardoo, Australian Water-Clover10

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

58200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

v.chelladurai   Thu Jul 27 2006

in traditional medicine of india this herb is used to successfullyin diabetes

Debashis Ray   Mon Apr 23 2007

This fern is well known in West Bengal and Bangladesh as "Sushni".It is available in vegetable markets as a leafy green with medicinal properties. The name Sushni in colloquial Bengali means 'dont sleep'as it is eaten cooked, for its soporific effect. Common people use it as it is cheaper and more easily available than prescription drugs. Debashis Ray,Kolkata,West Bengal, INDIA

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Subject : Marsilea quadrifolia  
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