Vallisneria spiralis

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background
Difficulty: very easy
Growth: fast
See also: Vallisneria densiserrulata
Range and localities: 

South Europe, Africa, probably Southwest Asia

Availability [?]: 
  • frequently available commercially

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Vallisnéria spirális L.

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


Vallisneria spiralis is one of the "classic" aquarium plants, known in the hobby since the beginnings of aquaristics. In nature it is distributed in stagnant and flowing waters in Africa, Asia and the warmer regions of Europe (e.g. Italy). Its species name "spiralis" does not refer to its leaf form but to its flower stalk, which starts spiralling after the female flower has withered (as it does in all Vallisneria species). Thus the infrutescence is drawn downward.
The plants sold as V. spiralis in trade can grow to very different lengths. However, in most cases plants with smooth (not spiralling) relatively narrow leaves are labeled V. spiralis. So-called "V. spiralis" imported from Malaysia have been identified as Vallisneria denseserrulata, a species native to Asia, recently differentiated from V. spiralis but very hard to know apart without flowers.

- To be continued -

Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 5 to 30 °C
Optimum temperature 20 to 28 °C
Carbonate hardness 2 to 21 °dKH
pH value 6 to 8 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 10 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: Runners

Can grow emersed?: no

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: yes

Winter hardiness: half-hardy in Germany

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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.