Cryptocoryne crispatula var. flaccidifolia is a variety of C. crispatula with long, narrow, smooth to undulate, green to reddish-brown leaves. The leaves of emersed plants are flaccid (flaccidifolia = "with flaccid leaves"). Submersed leaves grow to a length of 20 to 50 cm and a width of 5 to 12 mm.
Its leaf width differs from that of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis (2-4 mm wide leaves) and from C. crispatula var. balansae (15-40 mm wide leaves). Moreover, var. balansae has bullous leaves, whereas those of var. tonkinensis and var. flaccidifolia do have a smooth to undulate margin but no bullous pattern in the leaves.
This variety of Cryptocoryne crispatula is quite variable, like many other varieties of that plant, and there are intermediate forms, too. Thus, not all plant from the group of C. crispatula can be safely assigned to a variety.
C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia is found in Thailand, Vietnam and Southern China (Guangxi), where it grows mainly submersed in rivulets and rivers.
Those plants sold as "Cryptocoryne retrospiralis" in trade for many years probably all belong to C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia. True C. retrospiralis from India is only rarely in cultivation (Kasselmann 2010 and The Crypts Pages).
The plant sold as "Cryptocoryne tonkinensis" in trade also usually do not belong to C. crispatula var. tonkinensis, but to C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia (www.heimbiotop.de).
Cryptocoryne crispatula var. flaccidifolia may not be as well-known as var. balansae, but it is as recommendable, easy-to-care for aquarium plant. Its up to approx. 50 cm long leaves make it suitable for high tanks. It also does well in harder water and prefers moderate to intensive lighting. Like most other Cryptocorynes, C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia reproduces by subterranean runners, and after some time it forms a dense group.
The narrower leaves of C. var. flaccidifolia look more grass-like than those of var. balansae, and fit beautifully to a Nature Aquarium layout.
- To be continued -
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[widget=aquaticplants/cryptocoryne-crispatula-var-flaccidifolia]Cryptocoryne crispatula var. flaccidifolia[/widget]