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Marsilea villosa/Ihiihi, Villous Waterclover

Marsilea villosa / Marsilea villosa
Looks like a clover, but is a fern
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Looks like a clover, but is a fern

Grows in wet places, even where water is present much of the time

Close-up of clover looking frond

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Scientific Name: Marsilea villosa
Common Name: Ihiihi, Villous Waterclover
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 8, 9, 10, 11 Determine Your Zone
Height: Under 1 foot
Spread: to 1 foot
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: High
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Yes
Landscape Categories:
Comments: This plant looks like a four-leaf clover, but it really a fern. It requires periodic flooding for spore release and fertilization. In order for young plants to become established, a decrease in water level is required and lastly dry soil is needed for the plants to mature. This species native to Hawaii, but has found a home in the New Orleans area.