Limnophila sessiliflora

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background
Difficulty: easy
Growth: very fast
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Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Botanical name [?]: Limnóphila sessiliflóra (Vahl) Blume

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Limnophila


Limnophila sessiliflora is a rather undemanding plant from South-East Asia, which is often sold as "Asian marshweed" or "Ambulia" in the USA. In its natural habitat, it is found on the edges of stagnant waters and the banks of rivers and rivulets. In the aquarium hobby, L. sessiliflora is the most common Limnophila species and is cultivated in many aquatic plant nurseries. It has been introduced into nature in several regions outside its natural area of distribution and is considered an aquatic weed that endangers natural biotopes e.g. in the USA.

Limnophila sessiliflora is a robust, highly adaptable plant able to cope with a wide range of environmental conditions (pH 5.5-8, temperature 22-28°C). Its likeness to some Cabomba species makes it a coveted aquarium plant, as its light requirements are considerably lower. Given that there is sufficient light (0.5 watts per litre) and a CO2 injection L. sessiliflora grows more compact and looks more attractive. Balanced micronutrient fertilisation and the addition of iron is necessary for heathly growth. Lots of light and abundant micronutrients will result in a slightly reddish colouration of the shoot tips.

L. sessiliflora is trimmed like any other stem plant. Cutting off the top shoot and re-planting it into the substrate is the easiest propagation method. As soon as it reaches the water surface, L. sessiliflora starts forming a large number of lateral shoots. When growing along the surface, some of the shoots may become emersed, too. Its rapid growth makes regular trimming a must.
L. sessiliflora only forms flowers rarely when kept in an aquarium, however, if cultivated emersed, purple flowers will form along its stems.

Its vitality and its unchecked longitudinal growth makes Limnophila sessiliflora primary a background plant. Under relatively low light intensities it grows more compactly and more slowly, which makes maintenance far easier. Its fine-structured leaves contrast nicely against many other aquarium plants.

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