Psilotum nudum

Psilotum nudum (L.) P. Beauv.

Common Names: Whisk Fern

Family: Psilotaceae

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 synangium 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: Psilotum nudum occurs in the central and northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as throughout the new and old world tropical and subtropical zones.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Psilotum nudum is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

Psilotum nudum has been used in the horticultural trade.