Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'

°C
°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Accent (red), Midground, Nano tanks, Street (Dutch style), Foreground, group
Difficulty: medium
Growth: medium
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Height: 5 - 30 cm
Width: 5 - 10 cm

Availability [?]: 
  • frequently available commercially

Synonyms: 
  • Alternanthera reineckii ''rosaefolia minor''

Habit, plant type:

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

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

Description: 

Alternanthera reineckii "rosaefolia minor" is an exquisite dwarf form of A. reineckii that forms very low-growing compact bushes when cultivated submersed. It assumes a deep brownish-read colour comparable to A. reineckii 'Rosa' (= "Rosaefolia"). This makes it one of the very few red-coloured foreground plants. It got known in Europe around the year 2007; its exact origins are unclear. This plant is likely identical to Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'.

When cultivated emersed, A. reineckii "rosaefolia minor" looks pretty much like the emersed forms of other varieties of A. reineckii as it forms rather long stems with elongated internodes. Its stunning dwarfed growth habit with the stunted internodes is reserved for the submersed form, as it seems. Then its short stems of a maximal length of 20 cm develop many lateral shoots giving the plant a bushy look, and many "aerial" roots, which don't disturb its appearance, though. Its demands on cultivation are more or less the same than those of other varieties of A. reineckii: moderate to high light, temperatures of 22-28 °C, a good supply of CO2 and nutrients.

When cultivated submersed, A. reineckii "rosaefolia minor" is a rather slow grower and thus also has a relatively low reproduction rate. The population doubles in around 6 weeks (information from Jaap Liefting, aquaplantexchange.nl). The plant is propagated by top or lateral shoot cuttings or by separating the bushes.

Up to now, this small Alternanthera has mainly been used in Dutch-style aquascapes (e.g. by Michael Kloos). There it is a beautiful red contrast to green plants of low to medium height and forms an optical counterpart of higher-growing red plants that are placed at some distance. In the "Asian" nature aquarium style it has hardly ever been used, though. However, it might be an interesting red accent in a group of Staurogyne repens, a plant with a similar leaf form but a fresh green colour.

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