Mark (Mark1) (2009)

Eichhornia azurea (rotstängelige Form)

°C
°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Semi-emersed plant for open tanks, Background, Midground, Water surface
Difficulty: medium
Growth: fast
See also: Eichhornia azurea , Eichhornia heterosperma
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Availability [?]: 
  • rarely or not available commercially
  • occasionally available from other aquarists

Misapplied names: 
  • Eichhornia heterosperma

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Botanical name [?]: Eichhórnia azúrea (Sw.) Kunth

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Commelinales
Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Eichhornia

Description: 

The red-stemmed form of Eichhornia azurea is still not very well-known in the hobby. At first it was brought into trade under the erroneous name "Eichhornia heterosperma". Its flower characteristics, however, place it unequivocally into the species E. azurea (petals with a frilly margin, yellow spot on the uppermost petal, inflorescence with many flowers) and not to E. heterosperma (petals with entire margin, yellow spot missing, inflorescence with a low number of flowers).1 True Eichhornia heterosperma is probably not yet cultivated in aquaria.
The submersed form of the plant presented here has one distinguishing characteristic towards "standard" E. azurea: an intensively wine red stem. In all other aspects, it is similar to "standard" E. azurea regarding its look, growth habit, cultivation demands and propagation (for those, please see the data sheet of Eichhornia azurea).

This special form of E. azurea is a real eyecatcher in large aquaria, be it as solitary plant or as informal group, and with its spectacular wine red stems it is an interesting alternative to its standard form. Its floating sprouts with its spoon-shaped leaves that grow above the waterline can be used in open tanks and - given that the conditions are favourable, i.e. lots of light and a good supply of macronutrients - they will grow their their beautiful large, light blue to purple flowers.

References and further reading:
  1. thread about the red-stemmed Eichhornia azurea form (''E. heterosperma'') on www.flowgrow.de (http://www.flowgrow.de/artenbestimmung/eichhornia-heterosperma-zum-bluhen-bringen-t10979.html, accessed 01 November 2014)
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