© Heiko Muth (2009)

Stratiotes aloides

°C
°dKH
Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Semi-emersed plant for open tanks, Background, Midground, Water surface
Difficulty: easy
Growth: medium
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Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
  • free-floating (surface)
Botanical name [?]: Stratiotes aloídes L.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Stratiotes

Description: 

Stratiotes aloides, water soldier or water pineapple, is distributed in Europe and Central Asia, where it lives mainly in nutrient-rich warm lowland waters that have a tendency to silt up, like e.g. oxbow lakes in flood plains. It is a large rosulate plant with rigid leaves whose margin has sharp spikes. It hibernates submersed on the ground of the waterbody, and in spring, when the water gets warmer again, it rises to the surface. During summer, some of its leaves grow above the waterline, whereas the long roots often reach the ground in shallow water, where they anchor the plant in the mud. In some places, this plant occurs in large numbers and sometimes covers the entire water surface. However, there are other regions in Europe where it is endangered.
S. aloides is the only recent representative of its genus, however, several million years ago, in the Tertiary period, some more Stratiotes species existed.
Water soldier is better-known as pond plant, however, it can also be cultivated in tropical tanks.

To be continued...

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