Isoetes melanospora

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Isoetes melanospora
Closeup of Black-spored Quillwort (Isoetes melanospora).jpg
Conservation status

Critically Imperiled (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Isoetopsida
Order: Isoetales
Family: Isoetaceae
Genus: Isoetes
Species: I. melanospora
Binomial name
Isoetes melanospora

Isoetes melanospora, commonly known as black-spored quillwort or black-spored Merlin's grass, is a rare and endangered aquatic pteridophyte endemic to the U.S. States of Georgia and South Carolina. It grows exclusively in shallow, temporary pools on granite outcrops, often with only 2 cm of soil. 11 populations are known to exist in Georgia, while only one has been recorded in South Carolina, though this population is believed to be extirpated. The number of sites has dropped from 18 following its discovery due to habitat destruction caused by quarrying, trash dumping and trampling. New leaves quickly sprout after fall and winter rains, but during the dry summer months these typically shrivel.[1][2]

Colony of black-spored quillwort on Arabia Mountain, GA

The black-spored quillwort, a federally listed endangered species, is sometimes found growing with pool sprite (Amphianthus pusillus), another imperiled plant species. Both are protected at Stone Mountain in Georgia.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Isoetes melanospora". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  2. ^ Taylor, W. Carl; Luebke, Neil T.; Britton, Donald M.; Hickey, R. James; Brunton, Daniel F. (1993). "Isoetes melanospora". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America 2. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ USFWS. Granite Outcrop Plants Five-year Review. September 2008.

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