Scientific Name
Marsilea fenestrata Launert
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened D2
Assessment Date
H. Mtshali & J.E. Victor
EOO 8 700 km², known from six locations that are potentially threatened by prolonged droughts and alien invasive plants.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
Southern Mpumalanga Lowveld, southwards to Lebombo Mountains and Maputaland. Also occurring in Swaziland and Mozambique.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
In seasonal swamps among grasses and sedges, exposed or partially shaded, and edges of pans, from sea level to 1100 m.
This species is has lost the majority of its habitat to crop cultivation in the past, but agriculture is no longer significantly expanding. Prolonged droughts and competition from alien plants are likely to cause a decline of subpopulations.

This species is known from few collections that are very old, and is very likely to be extinct at three locations. The number and size of subpopulations are however not known, and further surveys are needed to determine the status and trends of the population.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Marsilea fenestrata LaunertLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Marsilea fenestrata LaunertNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Burrows, J.E. 1990. Southern African ferns and fern allies. Frandsen Publishers, Sandton.

Cook, C.D.K. 2004. Aquatic and wetland plants of southern Africa. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. and Burrows, S.M. 2011. Ferns of southern Africa: A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature, Cape Town.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. 1970. Pteridophyta. In: A.W. Exell and E. Launert (eds). Flora Zambesiaca:1-254. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. and Anthony, N.C. 1986. Pteridophyta. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of southern Africa:1-292. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Sieben, E.J.J. 2009. The status and distribution of vascular plants (Magnoliophyta, Lycophyta, Pteridophyta). In: W.R.T. Darwall, K.G. Smith, D. Tweddle and P. Skelton (eds.), The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in southern Africa (pp. 83-98), IUCN and SAIAB, Gland, Switzerland and Grahamstown, South Africa.

Mtshali, H. & Victor, J.E. 2019. Marsilea fenestrata Launert. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/11/27

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Distribution map

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