Marsilea hirsuta is a fascinating plant. It is often shipped with leaves that look like four-leaved clover. After an acclimation time its leaves change, though. Depending on the environment, it can assume a low growth habit with simple leaves looking like a large Glossostigma, however, it can also sprout leaves of different height divided into two, three or four parts, all depending on the conditions it grows in. No matter which form the leaves take, the plant will spread fast in your tank by runners. New leaves of Marsilea have brown color. Those leaves are not rotten or dead.
The water clover Marsilea hirsuta is widely spread in Australia. It is mostly found in marshes and floodplains.
In trade, you often see the names M. crenata, M. hirsuta, M. exarata, M. drummondii and M. quadrifolia, however, it is not sure whether the respective plant was identified correctly. Most species of the genus Marsilea can only safely be identified in their emersed form by means of their sporocarps (spore-containing fruit).
This plant is grown locally (Malta) by one of our partner aquarium plant keepers/breeders and is sold in 5cm pots.