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NZ Plants

Pilularia novae-hollandiae - pillwort

Aquatic ferns, family: Marsileaceae

Pilularia novae-hollandiae is a submerged aquatic fern. Slender creeping stems (rhizomes) growing on the bottom of shallow ponds give rise to small grass-like fronds consisting of a frond stalk (stipe) and a midrib but without a flattened blade. Sporangia are contained within small round capsules (sporocarps) at the base of fronds. A tiny plant easily confused with a submerged grass but with the young coiled fronds of a fern.
A species found throughout New Zealand.
Formerly known as Pilularia novae-zelandiae.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: slender stem with tubular fronds up to 5 cm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: green, smooth

Sporangium location: within a sporocarp

Frond shape: tubular, tapering at the tip

Sporangium position: along lateral veins 

Frond blade: 0

Sporangia distribution: groups (sori)

Frond surface: 0

Sorus shape:

Leaflets: 0

Sorus covering: hoodlike