Cryptocoryne spiralis var. spiralis

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Midground, Specimen plant
Difficulty: easy
Growth: medium

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

  • Arum spirale Retzius
  • Ambrosina spiralis (Retz.) Roxb.

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Cryptocóryne spirális (Retz.) Fisch. ex Wydler

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


Cryptocoryne spiralis is a narrow-leaved water trumpet from the Asian mainland. It is found in the south of India and in Bangladesh, where it grows on riverbanks, temporarily flooded wetlands and in rice paddies, where it is considered a weed. Its species name hints to the spiralling spathe blade (up to five turns) of its inflorescence. The species is quite variable, two varieties have been described (var. spiralis and var. cognatoides), but there are also intermediate forms.
Those plants imported some time ago were more or less difficult in cultivatikon and only of limited use in the aquarium. However, the form of C. spiralis that is found in the hobby today is quite easy in cultivation and reproduces well by a large number of runners. It was brought from India by Prof. C.D.K. Cook in the 1990s.

As long as it does not bloom, the emersed form of C. spiralis is very hard to discern from plants from the Cryptocoryne crispatula group, like C. retrospiralis or C. albida.

To be continued...

References and further reading:
  1. Kasselmann, C. (2010): Aquarienpflanzen. 3rd edition (German). - DATZ Aquarienbuch, Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart: 240-241.
  2. Bogner, J. (2013): Eine neue Varietät der Cryptocoryne spiralis (Retzius) Fischer ex Wydler (Araceae) aus Indien. - Aqua Planta 4-2013: 141-148.
  3. Bastmeijer, Jan: "The spiralis group from India" on ''The Crypts Pages'', updated December 2013 (, accessed 29 December 2013)
  4. Bastmeijer, Jan: "Cryptocoryne spiralis var. spiralis" on ''The Crypts Pages'', updated December 2013 (, accessed 29 December 2013)
Light low to high 
Temperature tolerance 20 to 30 °C
Optimum temperature 23 to 28 °C
Carbonate hardness 2 to 20 °dKH
pH value 5 to 8 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 10 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

Growth: medium

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

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: not hardy in Germany

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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.