Lobelia cardinalis 'Kleine Form'

Dwarf Cardinal flower

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Midground, Nano tanks, Foreground, group
Difficulty: easy
Growth: slow
See also: Lobelia cardinalis
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Common names: 
  • Dwarf Cardinal flower

  • Lobelia cardinalis 'Mini'
  • Lobelia cardinalis 'Nana'

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Botanical name [?]: Lobélia cardinális L.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Lobelia


Lobelia cardinalis 'small form' is a very interesting cultivar of the larger-growing standard form of L. cardinalis. It can be discerned from the latter by its rounder, coin-shaped leaves and the far smaller overall stature. Up to now, only Oriental Aquaria in Singapore is selling the true cultivar of this attractive small plant.

Lobelia cardinalis 'small form' is rather undemanding. Besides sufficient light (0.5 watts per liter) it only needs CO2 injection for optimal growth regarding size, colour and growth rate. A good supply of micro- and macronutrients should be assured, too (NO3 10-20 mg/l, PO4 1-2 mg/l).

A good nutrient supply, the addition of CO2 and sufficient light result in a very bushy habit and nice green colour. Then the plant produces many daughter plants, too, which can be cut off and re-planted, and the roots on the nodes are covered up by the dense foliage and many lateral shoots. Under insufficient light and when nutrients are scarce, this plant tends to grow out long, which does not look very nice. It doesn't produce as many lateral shoots either, which greatly hinders propagation.

Its unique appearance and growth habit makes it an ideal middleground plant. It can even be used as easy-to-care-for foreground plant in large aquaria. Lobelia cardinalis 'small form' is often used in Dutch-style tanks to create diagonal, uprising streets, which loosen up the otherwise pretty static layouts.
Its slow vertical growth predestines it for low-maintenance tanks.

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