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Limnophila sp. "Guinea Broad-Leaf"

°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Midground
Difficulty: medium
Growth: fast

Availability [?]: 
  • rarely or not available commercially
  • rarely or not available from other aquarists

Synonyms: 
  • Limnophila sp. Guinea

Habit, plant type:

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

Description: 

One of many new plants in the aquarium hobby in 2008 was Limnophila sp. "Guinea Broad-Leaf". Since then, it has spread rapidly among hobbyists (at least in the USA, whereas it is hardly known in Europe). As it doesn't seem suitable for commercial reproduction, swapping or trade with other hobbyists or bying in specialised shops seems to be the only way to get into possession of this special Limnophila.

The form of the submersed leaves of "Guinea Broad-Leaf" is somewhat in the middle between the pinnate-leaved Limnophila species like e.g. Limnophila indica and those like L. aromatica, which keep their lanceolate undivided leaf form even when kept under water. They grow on the stem in whorls, are of a light green colour, pinnately lobed and remind somewhat of celery leaves. Under "full sun" their lobes can be very delicate.
As it is a small, delicate plant, L. sp. "Guinea Broad-Leaf" should not be used in the background like other Limnophila species. Instead, it is very nice as bushy plant in the middleground, like e.g. Bacopa australis, and it can be formed into contoured hills just by trimming.

Cultivation is not overly difficult if the conditions it is kept in are favourable. First and foremost, Limnophila sp. "Guinea Broad-Leaf" needs a good macronutrient supply to prevent it from withering away. The first symptoms of a macronutrient deficiency are transparent spots on the leaves and, after that, decomposing leaves.
It is furthermore unfavourable if the plant grows in a shaded place, and if CO2 and iron levels decrease, or if the water current slows down. If its demands are met, this plant is a lush and fast grower, and its stems throw many lateral shoots, which can be used as cuttings for propagation.

Emersed cultivation was only successful recently (May 2011, aquaticplantcentral.com). The plant developed hirsute sprouts with ovate leaves showing parallel veins, which look totally different from the submersed leaves. If this plant can be brought to bloom it might be possible to determine which species it belongs to.

Light medium to high 
Carbonate hardness 0 to 7 °dKH
pH value 5 to 7 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 25 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: fast

Propagation: Cuttings

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
Aquascaping: well-branched, bushy

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