Marsilea is a genus of approximately sixty-five species of aquatic ferns of the circle of relatives Marsileaceae. The name honors Italian naturalist Luigi Ferdinando Marsili
These small vegetation are of uncommon appearance and do no longer resemble common ferns. Common names include water clover and four-leaf clover due to the fact the long-stalked leaves have four clover-like lobes and are both gifts above water or submerged. The sporocarps of some Australian species are very drought-resistant, surviving as much as a hundred years in dry situations. On wetting, the gelatinous indoors of the sporocarp swells, splitting it and liberating a bug-like mass that incorporates sori, sooner or later main to germination of spores and fertilization.
Sporocarps of some Australian species consisting of Marsilea drummondii are safe to eat and had been eaten by means of Aborigines and early white settlers, who knew it below the name ngardu or nardoo. Parts of Marsilea drummondii include an enzyme that destroys thiamine main to brain damage in sheep and horses. During floods within the Gwydir River basin, 2,2 hundred sheep died after consuming nardoo. Three-quarters of the sheep that had been affected did but respond to thiamine injections. Thiamine deficiency from incorrectly prepared nardoo probable resulted in the starvation and loss of life of Burke and Wills.