Alternanthera reineckii "Kleines Papageienblatt"

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Midground, Nano tanks, Street (Dutch style), Foreground, group
Difficulty: medium
Growth: medium
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Height: 10 - 30 cm
Width: 3 - 4 cm

Availability [?]: 
  • occasionally available commercially
  • occasionally available from other aquarists

Trader names [?]: 
  • Telanthera osiris

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Botanical name [?]: Alternanthéra reinéckii Briq.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera


If someone in the aquarium hobby speaks of Alternanthera reineckii (no name affix), they almost always mean a relatively small form of the plant. It has been known as aquarium plant for many years but started disappearing from the hobby and from trade, as other, more striking forms of A. reineckii were brought onto the market.
This small Alternanthera grows to a size of around 10 to 30 cm. Its submersed leaves grow to a length of 2 cm and a width of 1 cm. Under moderate light, they are of a more or less green colour, under strong light, however, they turn reddish.

This form of A. reineckii has rather high demands and needs lots of light. Under weak lighting, the lower leaves tend to die off.

A. reineckii is an interesting fore- and middleground plant due to its relatively low height and its small leaves, and its straight, symmetrical sprouts make it a suitable plant especially for Dutch-style planted tanks.

- To be continued -

References and further reading:
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