© Heiko Muth (2005)

Echinodorus floribundus

Aquarium suitability: restricted
Usage: Semi-emersed plant for open tanks, Background
Growth: medium
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Range and localities: 

Southern Mexico to Panama; Cuba; South America: from Colombia and Venezuela to northern Argentina and Uruguay

Height: 30 - 100 cm
Width: 30 - 100 cm

  • Alisma floribundum Seub.
  • Echinodorus grandiflorus subsp. aureus (Fassett) R.R.Haynes & Holm-Niels.
  • Echinodorus grandiflorus var. longibracteatus Rataj
  • Echinodorus muricatus Griseb.
  • Echinodorus punctatus Micheli
  • Sagittaria brasiliensis Mart. ex Micheli

Misapplied names: 
  • Echinodorus grandiflorus

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
  • emergent aquatic plant
Botanical name [?]: Echinódorus floribúndus (Seub.) Seub.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Alismataceae
Genus: Echinodorus


Echinodorus floribundus is also known as E. grandiflorus ssp. aureus. In the trade, this species has long been sold under the name Echinodorus grandiflorus, however, it is not identical with Echinodorus grandiflorus in the sense of S. Lehtonen (2008). It is often also erroneously sold under the name E. cordifolius, which is also an altogether different species.
E. floribundus is one of the largest Echinodorus. In its wide area of distribution, ranging from southern Mexico and Cuba to Argentine, this bog plant is found in ponds, marshes, on floodplains and wet meadows.

With its roundish, deep-cut, heart-shaped leaf blades of up to 30 cm length, adult emersed E. floribundus plants remind of rhubarb. Its bristled leaf stalks are furrowed lengthwise, and the pellucid leaf areas, which become visible in pressed leaves in the "mesh pattern" of the leaf venation, are in the form of dots and not in the form of dots and stripes like in the most closely related species E. grandiflorus and E. longiscapus. The upright flower stalks ramify widely and can grow to a height of up to 2 metres in the natural habitats. Depending on the population, a great or a small number of adventitious plants form, or even none at all. The flowers are large (up to 3.5 cm) and possess 25 to 30 stamina. The thick, hard, creeping rhizomes may be cut apart for propagating the plant.

E. floribundus is quite variable. One cultivar is very similar to E. cordifolius, with nearly bristle-less leaf stalks, young leaves with brown speckles and overhanging inflorescence with a great number of adventitious plants (pics 2 and 3). A local variety from southern Paraguay is known as "bristly Echninodorus" in Germany, and true to its name, it has thick bristles covering its leaf stalks and leaf veins. Its young leaves are reddish-brown (pic 1).

Echinodorus floribundus is only of limite use in aquaria. Whereas young plants may be cultivated submersed for some time, older plants tend to grow long-stalked emersed leaves reaching far above the waterline. In large open tanks this Echinodorus species may develop into an uncommon, beautifully flowered solitary plant, however, it needs immensely much room. During the warm season, E. floribundus may be cultivated outdoors as bog plant. There it develops best if planted in a nutrient-rich substrate (e.g. fertilised loam or pond soil).

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