Marsilea hirsute has clover-like leaves on a single stem and the stems grow out from a single main stem that can lay along the substrate like a runner, or climb to the top of an aquarium like a stem plant. It usually grows single leaves on a stem, but can develop two, three or four-lobed leaves. The leaf stems will tend to stay short if the plant has plenty of light but will grow longer if the plant needs to reach for more light. While it grows slowly at first, once it has taken hold in an aquarium it can spread rapidly, sending out side stems as runners. If kept trimmed it can make an excellent deep ground cover, but otherwise it can eventually fill an entire aquarium with a dense mesh of growth. It is relatively hardy and a good choice for ground cover for a beginner aquatic gardener, although, experienced aquascapers can use it to good effect.