Cryptocoryne pygmaea

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Midground, Foreground, group
Difficulty: easy
See also: Cryptocoryne × willisii "Pigmea"
Range and localities: 

Philippines: Palawan, Busuanga and western Mindanao

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Cryptocóryne pygmáea Merr.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Cryptocoryne


Cryptocoryne pygmaea, dwarf crypt, comes from the Philippines. Other than its botancial and vernacular names suggest it doesn't stay especially small.
On the islands Palawan, Busuanga and in western Mindanao this crypt populates rivers and rivulets, often with hard water, emersed as well as submersed, also in deeper water.

For a long time it was only known from herbarium records. Most authors synonymised it with C. auriculata, which originates from Borneo (Sarawak). Only in about 1970 the first live specimens became known in Europe. In Kopenhagen, Niels Jacobsen found them in a shipment of C. aponogetifolia originating from the Philippines, and later identified them as C. pygmaea.
In 1999, Jan Bastmeijer and Herson Morco found many natural habitats of this species in the north of Palawan. [1]
C. pygmaea has proven to be an excellent aquarium plant that is quite easy in cultivation [2],[3]. Despite that, this crypt is not very well-known in the hobby yet.

In nature and in emersed cultivation, C. pygmaea stays rather small (approx. 5 to 8 cm in height), however, its submersed form grows distinctly larger (up to 25 cm hight). Its emersed elaves have a lanceolate leaf blade, whereas the submersed leaf blades are lineal. The leaf margin is undulate, and the leaves are of a brown-green colour. In cultivation, this plant has shown to be quite variable and that there are forms with slightly differing leaves and inflorescences [1].

- to be completed -

References and further reading:
  1. Bastmeijer, J. D. & Morco, H. (2000): Cryptocoryne pygmaea Merrill (Araceae) von Busuanga und Palawan (Philippinen). - Aqua Planta 3-2000: 99-107.
  2. Wilstermann-Hildebrand, M. & Hildebrand, C. (2011): Wasserkelche - Cryptocorynen im Aquarium. - Art für Art Süßwasserbibliothek, Natur und Tier - Verlag GmbH, Münster.
Light low to high 
Temperature tolerance 18 to 28 °C
Optimum temperature 22 to 26 °C
Carbonate hardness 8 to 20 °dKH
pH value 6 to 8 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 5 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Propagation: Runners, Rhizomteilung, Splitting, cutting off daughter plants

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: not hardy in Germany

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.