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Nardoo illustrationNardoo

Marsilea drummondii

family: Marsileaceae

Habitat: River flood plains

An aquatic fern of inland Australia. Forms clumps about 8-10 cm high at the edge of inland lakes, but more usually a submerged plant with leaves, reminiscent of four-leafed-clover, floating on the water surface.

Nutritious food can be made from the spores of this plant if it is prepared correctly.
Spores form as the water dries up. Aboriginal people in arid Australia collected the spore cases, roasted them, discarded the cases then ground the spores to make cakes.

See the spore cases (2) and the spores (3) that are inside. [Smyth 1878 : 217.]

Updated February 9, 2004 , Murray Fagg (anbg-info@anbg.gov.au)