Nikolai Frederik Slomma (nik) (2008)

Pogostemon sp. "E 401"

°C
°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Midground
Difficulty: medium
Growth: medium
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Synonyms: 
  • Eusteralis species E 401
  • Eusteralis spec.

Habit, plant type:

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

Description: 

This plant has not been identified yet, but what can be said is that it is a Pogostemon species, imported and brought onto the market by Dennerle company as Eusteralis species with the short name E 401 and the vernacular name "star rotala, coarse". According to information provided by Dennerle the plant originates from Asia. It might also be in cultivation under other names. It might be a form of the very variable species Pogostemon stellatus. However, this could only be cleared up by the examination of emersed plants with inflorescences.

In most shops it is offered as an emersed plant that only shows its true beauty after assuming its submersed form in the aquarium. The submersed sprouts generally reach a diameter of around 10 cm, when provided with ample nutrients, however, it may even reach around 20 cm. The submersed leaves are around 2 to 5 mm wide. Approximately 6 to 11 leaves form one whorl per stem node.
In a well-fertilised planted tank Pogostemon sp. "E 401" is not a very demanding plant regarding light, fertilisation, CO2 and substrate. However, like the commonly sold form of Pogostemon stellatus, this plant is a great indicator for the nutrient supply in the water. If there is a deficiency, the youngest plants of the shoot tips fade in colour and grow smaller until the shoot tip finally dies off. At the same time several new head shoots are formed. A sufficient supply of micronutrients is important. Beautiful red hues can be attained by limiting the macronutrients. When provided with large levels of macronutrients, these plants tend to go completely green and to grow extremely large. When cultivated under favourable conditions its growth rate is not considerably slower than that of plants like Rotala rotundifolia.

It can easily propagated by cuttings. If the cut-off base remains in the tank it forms several lateral shoots. With this method, bushy groups can be formed that contrast beautifully against wide-leaved stem plants.

All in all, Pogostemon sp. "E 401" is a wonderful aquarium plant that grows a little larger and maybe more colourful than "standard" P. stellatus.

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