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European waterclover (Marsilea quadrifolia)

European waterclover Common Names: European water-clover

Description: Available as a water garden and aquarium plant.

Habit: Aquatic; rooted fern that grows at depths of up to 30 cm (1 ft); forms monotypic stands. Roots at and between the nodes.

Leaves: On long petioles, resemble those of a four-leaf clover, may be floating or emergent.

Stems: Thin; green in color.

Flowers: Non-flowering.

Fruit and seeds: No fruits or seeds.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Found in still or slow-moving waters in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, ditches.

Reproduction: Vegetatively and by its sporocarps which may be dispersed by waterfowl and other animals.

Similar species: Dwarf waterclover (Marsilea minuta) and Rough waterclover (Marsilea hirsuta).

Monitoring and rapid response: Clearing off boats and other water-related equipment will help prevent spreading.

Credits: The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) has partnered with MISIN to provide the information in this fact sheet. Species images and/or information were used with permission from "A Field Identification Guide to Invasive Plants in Michigan's Natural Communities" and "A Field Guide to Invasive Plants of Aquatic and Wetland Habitats for Michigan.


Priority Species

Common Name:

European waterclover

Scientific Name:

Marsilea quadrifolia


(Water clover)





USDA Symbol:


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