Marsilea drummondii – Nardoo

A widespread aquatic fern, growing often in inland areas and appearing prolifically after floods. Leaves look somewhat like a four leaf clover, with two pairs of leaflets. Grows in water up to one metre deep, growing from a creeping rhizome and reproducing through sporocarps. Great as a plant for the garden pond, it is an attractive aquatic species.
These sporocarps are used as a food by Aborigines, first treated to remove poisonous compounds and then ground and used for dough. It can be toxic to both animals and humans if not prepared properly. Sporocarps are eaten by birds though, including waterfowl, and the plant is spread in this way, among others.
Attracts frogs to the garden, as it provides ideal breeding habitat, as long as no pesticides are used in the water. Propagate by dividing plant root ball.

Picture provided by Philip Clarke, from his new book Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use: Journeys of an Australian Anthropologist

Family : Marsileaceae
Cultivar Name:
Plant Type : Aquatic, Fern
Width : 3
Flowering Time :
Soil Type : Sandy, Clay, Loamy, Sandy loam, Clay loam
Climate Zone : Sub-tropical, Warm temperate, Cool temperate, Mediterranean, Semi-arid
Growth Habit : Evergreen, Spreading
Soil Moisture : Boggy poorly drained
Special Uses : Bog gardens, Fast growing
Scientific Name: Marsilea drummondii
Common Name : Nardoo
Height : 0.3
Flower Color :
pH Level : Acid, Neutral
Plant Environment : Low maintenance garden, Courtyard, Container growing
Light : Sunny, Light shade, Half shade
Lifespan : Perennial
Frost Tolerance :
Attracts Wildlife : Seed eating birds