Marsilea Minuta Care Facts

Marsilea minuta is the most famous aquarium plant among the aquarium enthusiasts due to its gorgeous greenish coloration and hardiness. In 1825, it was first described by Carl Borivoj Presl. It is a plant of class Polypodiopsida with the family Marsileaceae under order Salviniales.  Marsilea minuta is considered as ‘Least Concern’ in the IUCN Red Data Book. Synonyms of Marsilea minuta are Marsilea crenulata Desv., Marsilea diffusa A.Braun and Marsilea rotundata Wild.

Systematic Position

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Polypodiopsida
  • Order:Salviniales
  • Family: Marsileaceae
  • Genus: Marsilea minuta
  • Species: Marsilea minuta

Distribution and Habitat

It is widely dispersed in Africa, including Madagascar and the Comoros and tropical Asia. It likes to possess in Shallow pools, river edges, ditches, seasonal flood plains, rice fields and other marginal areas where quiet or still waters are accessible.

Common Names

It has several common names such as Small Water Clover, Dwarf Water Clover, ,Gelid Waterklawer, airy pepperwort, and pepperwort etc.

Quick Marsilea ​Minuta Facts

  • Scientific name:Marsilea minuta
  • Origin: Africa and tropical Asia
  • Placement: Foreground to Mid-ground
  • Propagation: Runners, shoots, seeds
  • Temperature: 65-820F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Hardness: 5-12 dGH
  • Lighting needs: Strong
  • Growth: Slow
  • Care Level: Easy

Physical Description 

​Marsilea minuta is an established perennial herb. It has thin long crawling and extending rhizomes with erect leaves. The rhizome is green to light darker in color with 0.4-0.8 mm thick. At the apex of a thin and adaptable petiole, four clover-like leaflets are formed. The leaflets are mostly glabrous, cuneate or flabellate which can grow up to 2 cm long and 1.7 cm in width.

The leaflets float on the surface of water. The petiole grows up to 15 cm long. This plant can form into extensive colonies, and under perfect conditions, this plant forms a thick, dim to lime-green cover with its various emergent runners.

Housing and Care Facts

This plant is extremely well known among the pet fish keepers because of its toughness, lovely greenish tinge and easy to care for. It can develop either in part or completely submersed condition. It does well in high light intensity. For this situation, lighting should be no less than 3 watts for every gallon of water. During dim lighting condition, Marsilea minuta becomes upward and plantlets float on the surface of the water.

For ideal development, the tank should have a supplement rich substrate with up to 2 inches depth as a decent base for plant roots during planting. The plant needs appropriate water parameters. In this case, pH should be of 6.5-7.5, hardness of 5-12 dGH and the temperature should be between  65 and 82 F.

Reproduction / Propagation

It reproduces effectively in aquarium condition if proper care is taken. Generally it propagates by runners. During propagation, you should cut the runners utilizing sharp scissors. In this case, runner should be cut from healthy and sound plants. After cutting the runner, the plantlets should be pushed into substrate gradually with half inch to 1 inch separated. Following few days the new cutting produce roots and grapples it to the substrate itself and starts developing.

In the base of the aquarium, it spreads quickly and makes a decent cover for fish fry. They irregularly can do sexual reproduction through spore production. It can also form new plants by producing extrinsic shoots. For optimum growth, you should add fertilizers to the aquarium water. In this case, you should also add CO2 and proper lighting. Please click here if you need to know more about the best aquarium plants.

Also Read: Orchid Lily: Barclaya Longifolia


Marsilea minuta is a standout  amongst the most wonderful aquatic plants. It looks greenish in shading which includes splendid show in any aquarium. It spreads rapidly and makes an average cover for fish fry in the base of the aquarium. To keep your aquarium condition healthy, you should include this ravishing plant in your aquarium.

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