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Azolla filiculoides

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AzollaceaeView Description 

Common Name: MOSQUITO FERN FAMILY
Habit: Plant free-floating or stranded on mud, generally 1--5 cm, often fan-shaped; roots pendent from stem forks, unbranched. Stem: forked repeatedly or pinnate, thread-like, easily fragmented at joints. Leaf: alternate, in 2 rows, sessile, often overlapped, 0.5--1.5 mm, seemingly paired but actually of 2 +- round to ovate lobes; upper lobe floating or emergent, thick, +- green or +- red, margin +- white, adaxial surface smooth or generally with papillae; lower lobe submersed, generally +- larger, thinner, +- white. Sporangia: in seemingly axillary cases of 2 kinds, cases generally in pairs of 1 kind. Sporangium Case: 1.2--2 mm diam, spheric; tip dark-pointed; wall transparent; sporangia generally 20--100+, long-stalked; spores 32 or 64, spheric, in generally 3--6 barbed masses. Male Sporangium Case: 1.2--2 mm diam, spheric; tip dark-pointed; wall transparent; sporangia generally 20--100+, long-stalked; spores 32 or 64, spheric, in generally 3--6 barbed masses. Female Sporangium Case: 0.2--0.4 mm diam, hemispheric or spheric; tip obtuse, covered by dark, conic, spongy structures that aid in flotation; wall +- opaque; sporangium 1, sessile; spore 1, spheric.
Genera In Family: 1 genus, +- 6 species: +- worldwide. Note: When Salvinia and Azolla in same family, the name is Salviniaceae.
Unabridged Note: Barbs evidently on neither sporangia nor spores, but on cells surrounding spore masses. If Salvinia is included in the same family with Azolla, as is sometimes done, the name for the inclusive family would be Salviniaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan R. Smith & Andy Murdock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AzollaView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Etymology: (Greek: dry kill, from plant death in dried habitats) Note: Used as green manure in rice paddies because of nitrogen-fixing algae in upper leaf lobe; species identification difficult, depends in part on fertile material (generally 0 on herbarium specimens). Species hybridize in culture.
Unabridged Note: Evard & Van Hove (2004) treated Azolla microphylla as a synonym of Azolla filiculoides, suggesting that plants here called Azolla microphylla might instead belong to Azolla cristata Kaulf., although no California material was referred to this sp. by them.

Azolla filiculoides Lam.
NATIVE
Habit: Plant green to +- red. Stem: generally 1--3 cm: immature prostrate, internodes < 5 mm; mature ascending, internodes < 1 mm. Leaf: smooth or with generally inconspicuous papillae on upper leaf lobe. Sporangium Case: male and female, often 0, female with distinct equatorial girdle, wall tubercled and pitted.
Ecology: Common. Ponds, slow streams; Elevation: < 1300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB, DMoj(?); Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Arizona, South America; also eastern United States, Eurasia, Africa.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan R. Smith & Andy Murdock
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Citation for this treatment: Alan R. Smith & Andy Murdock 2016. Azolla filiculoides, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=15380, accessed on September 26, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on September 26, 2016.


Azolla filiculoides
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Azolla filiculoides
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Azolla filiculoides
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Azolla filiculoides
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Azolla filiculoides
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Azolla filiculoides
click for enlargement
© 2014 Steve Matson

More photos of Azolla filiculoides in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Azolla filiculoides:
CA-FP, GB, DMoj(?);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.