Salviniales, the Water Ferns
Marsilea villosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Salviniales
Bartl. in Mart. 1835
  • “Hydropteridales”
  • Marsileales Bartl. in Mart. 1835
  • Pilulariales Bercht. & J.Presl 1820

The order Salviniales (formerly known as the Hydropteridales and including the former Marsileales) is an order of ferns in the class Polypodiopsida.[1] Salviniales are all aquatic and differ from all other ferns in being heterosporous, meaning that they produce two different types of spores (megaspores and microspores) that develop into two different types of gametophytes (female and male gametophytes, respectively), and in that their gametophytes are endosporic, meaning that they never grow outside the spore wall and cannot become larger than the spores that produced them. In being heterosporus with endosporic gametophytes they are more similar to seed plants than to other ferns.

The ferns of this order vary radically in form from one another and do not look particularly fern-like. Species of the family Salviniaceae are natant (floating), while those of the family Marsileaceae are rooted. However, the natant species may temporarily grow on wet mud during times of low water, and the Marsileaceae may grow as emergent species, depending on species and location.

There is a well-known fossil member of the Marsileales, Hydropteris (incertae sedis).

The likely phylogenic relationships between the two families and five genera of the Salviniales are shown in the following diagram.[2][3]









  1. Alan R. Smith, Kathleen M. Pryer, Eric Schuettpelz, Petra Korall, Harald Schneider & Paul G. Wolf (2006). "A classification for extant ferns" (PDF). Taxon. 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646.
  2. Nathalie S. Nagalingum, Michael D. Nowak & Kathleen M. Pryer (2008). "Assessing phylogenetic relationships in extant heterosporous ferns (Salviniales), with a focus on Pilularia and Salvinia" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 157: 673–685. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2008.00806.x.
  3. Maarten J. M. Christenhusz, Xian-Chun Zhang & Harald Schneider (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/3/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.