Marsilea hirsuta is actually a tiny creeping fern, though its leaf shape might make you think otherwise. In its emersed form, it has leaves resembling a four leafed clover. Marsilea species are very difficult to determine, except by examining the sporocarps (fruiting bodies) on emersed plants. Even then it is not easy! We believe that the plants we offer are this species. We do know that this one is an exemplary foreground plant!
Under water, Marsilea hirsuta it usually reverts to a single, small, spoon-shaped leaf, though the occasional “four leaf clover” may pop up. This species is the best choice for the aquarist who would like to experience a “lawn” in a an aquarium without supplemental CO2 or strong lighting. While not a fast grower, it will slowly and steadily fill in, even under quite modest conditions. It also works well when planted along with a higher light option in areas where you would like the ground cover to extend back into shadowy areas of the tank.
Common Name: Dwarf four leaf clover
Family Name: Marsileceae
Native To: Australia
Requirements: Undemanding, but will spread more thickly in a soil based substrate.
Growth Form: Creeping rhizome
Growth Rate: Slow-moderate
True Aquatic: Yes
Placement in Tank: Foreground
Available As: Potted, Tissue culture