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NZ Plants

Isoetes kirkii - quillwort

Family Isoetaceae

Isoetes kirkii is a small semi-aquatic plant with a perennial tuber producing tufts of slightly fleshy and grass-like leaves. A small appendage (ligule) is present at the base of the leaf on its inner surface. Sporangia are found inside swollen leaf bases. Two species of quillwort are fond in New Zealand both of which are endemic.
Isoetes kirkii is found in lakes in both North and South Islands.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile stem and sporangia

Plant form: terrestrial plants up to 15 cm high

Stem appearance: fertile stem absent.

Leaf arrangement: in dense cluster at tip of compact stem (in a rosette)

Sporangium location: at base of leaves

Leaf shape: linear, tubular, pointed at tip; ligule on inner surface at base of leaf

Sporangium position: inside swollen leaf base

Leaf size: up to 15 cm

Sporangia distribution: one per leaf


Sporangium covering: 0