Index- plants in this Family
Isoetaceae / Quillwort family
Black-spored Quillwort (Isoetes melanospora)
Black-spored Quillwort is also known as Blackspore Quillwort.

Plant Type: This is a pteridophyte, it is a perennial which can reach 8cm in height (3inches). Leaves and the branched roots emerge from a bulbous base.
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. The leaves are tightly grouped and emerge spirally from the base. Each leaf is quill like and contains four hollow chambers reinforced by cross walls. The leaf is wider at the base and this is the area where the spores are produced.
Flowers: .
Fruit: A leaf may produce hundreds of male spores or dozens of larger female spores. The female spores can be 0.4mm in diameter and are black when wet, gray when dry. Spores usually produced in late spring.
Habitat: Shallow water.
Range: Found in only a few locations in Georgia and perhaps in South Carolina.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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This unusual plant is listed as a federal endangered species as well as a Georgia state endangered species. Know now from only six counties in Georgia. The order Isoetales contains only the one family, Isoetaceae which contains but one genus, Isoetes.

Similar Species: Isoetes tegetiformans is similar and also has dark spores. It is also very rare and not know from the same counties. It has leaves aranged along a rihzome.

See the links below this image for other images. (2)
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Black-spored quillwort (Isoetes melanospora) - habit  © James Henderson
Mat-forming quillwort (Isoetes tegetiformans)  © James Henderson

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.


Quillwort family



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