Marsilea villosa

Marsilea villosa, the ʻihiʻihi (Hawaiian) or villous waterclover (English), is a species of fern that is endemic to the islands of Oʻahu, Molokaʻi and Niʻihau in Hawaii. It is found exclusively in areas that experience periodic flooding and become ephemeral pools within low elevation dry forests and shrublands.[1] Standing water allows the sporocarp to open and release spores. It also enables the resulting sperm to swim toward and fertilize female ova. For new plants to become established, the waters must subside. Sporocarps only form once the soil has dried to a certain level. Like other species in its genus, the leaves of M. villosa resemble those of a four-leaf clover.[3]

Marsilea villosa
Starr 061108-9798 Marsilea villosa.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Salviniales
Family: Marsileaceae
Genus: Marsilea
M. villosa
Binomial name
Marsilea villosa


Fewer than 2,000 individual plants exist in four remaining populations. The plant was federally listed as an endangered species in 1992.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "The Recovery Plan for the Marsilea villosa". Threatened and Endangered Animals in the Hawaiian Islands. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  2. ^ "Marsilea villosa". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  3. ^ "Marsilea villosa". CPC National Collection Plant Profiles. Center for Plant Conservation. 2010-03-04. Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-05-12.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Marsilea villosa at Wikimedia Commons   Data related to Marsilea villosa at Wikispecies