Photo: Ethan Freid Photo: Ethan Freid
Common Names: Whisk Fern
Habit: Psilotum nudum grows as a low herb to 30 cm with dichotomously branching stems and no true leaves. The stems are 3-angled and slightly winged along the ribs. Bract-like appendages occur along the stem.
The reproductive structures are sporangia that occur in fused groups of 3’s (synangium) on a highly reduced branch. Below the synangium is a bifurcating bract. The sporangium turns yellow at maturity. Dehiscence of the spores is by a longitudinal suture on the upper portion of the synangium.
Habitat: Psilotum nudum grows in moist areas often associated with monocots
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Psilotum nudum occurs in the central and northern island groupings of the Bahamian Archipelago as well as throughout the new and old world tropical and subtropical zones.
Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Psilotum nudum is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.
Psilotum nudum has been used in the horticultural trade.