Cryptocoryne undulata

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Midground, Foreground, group
Difficulty: easy
Growth: medium
Range and localities: 

Central highland of Sri Lanka, vicinity of Kandy1

Availability [?]: 
  • frequently available commercially

  • Cryptocoryne axelrodii Rataj
  • Cryptocoryne willisii Engler ex Baum (1909), non Reitz (1908)

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Cryptocóryne unduláta Wendt

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


Like so many other species from the Cryptocoryne wendtii group (= C. beckettii group), C. undulata has long been known in the hobby. In nature, it is found emersed and submersed along rivers and rivulets on the island of Sri Lanka.

C. undulata is as easy in cultivation as the other species from the group of plants related to C. wendtii. This species grows even in unfertilised water and under low light, however, growth is very slow then, and the overall height of the plant increases. When planted in nutrient-rich substrate and provided with lots of light its growth rate increases, however, the plants will stay smaller as a whole. Under these conditions, the mother plant will form many runners, and the plant mass can grow substantially within just a few months. It is not necessary to fertilise this plant with CO2. Due to its compact growth, it should not be planted too densely. It is highly recommendable to plant small portions at a few centimetres' distance in order to provide them with room to grow.
This plant is best cultivated emersed in moist substrates and daily spraying with water.

C. undulata is uncomplicated to propagate, simply cut off the runners growing close to the mother plant and replant where you want them. After taking root, the young plants develop into grown specimens relatively fast.

Its brown, slightly undulated and sometimes marbled leaves make C. undulata a very special plant and a great eyecatcher for the middleground of an aquarium. It contrasts nicely with bright green and intensively red plants, and its effect is especially nice when it is planted behind a population of low-growing light breed plants like e.g. Helanthium tenellum or Ranalisma rostratum.

References and further reading:
  1. Bastmeijer, Jan: Cryptocoryne undulata Wendt on ''The Crypts Pages'', aktualisiert im August 1999 (, accessed 25 August 2013)
  2. Cryptocoryne undulata in the Plant Finder on (, accessed 25 August 2013)
  3. Kasselmann, C. (2010): Aquarienpflanzen. 3rd edition (German). - DATZ Aquarienbuch, Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart: 244.
References (range and localities):
  1. Bastmeijer, Jan: Cryptocoryne undulata Wendt on ''The Crypts Pages'', aktualisiert im August 1999 (, accessed 25 August 2013)
Light low to high 
Temperature tolerance 15 to 28 °C
Optimum temperature 22 to 26 °C
Carbonate hardness 1 to 18 °dKH
pH value 5 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

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.