Possibly a variant of E. angustifolia, very little has been
written about this plant, but it has become very popular
throughout Europe and is now beginning to reach the United
States. I hope this plant is picked up by American commercial
growers because it is so unique looking and extremely easy to
grow. The leaves twist and curl as they grow straight up, and
their width can vary from narrow to wide on the same plant.
They often appear to be a combination of a corkscrew-like twist
and a ribbon curl on a wrapped gift.
Echinodorus vesuvius needs only moderate light or better
and is not particular about water conditions. It spreads easily
and quickly through ground-level runners that produce new
plants. Its maximum height is only 12 to 15 inches, making
it ideal for most any size aquarium. Echinodorus vesuvius originated in Europe and is rarely
imported into the United States.
Nesaea sp. “Golden”
Nesaea pedicellata is native to West Africa and is
occasionally imported into the United States.
It is a relatively simple plant with yellowish-green
leaves and brown stems. A variant or mutation was
discovered that sported solid golden-yellow leaves
and red stems. Selective reproduction and growing
produced a stable strain that is now available through
Florida Aquatic Nurseries distributors and dealers
under the name Nesaea sp. “golden.”
It is a beautiful stem plant that brings an elegant
color to the aquarium design. Medium to high light and
temperatures below 80°F make this plant suitable for
most hobbyists. The stems will grow side shoots that
can be propagated or left to grow to create a thicker and
wider bush. Cut stems will branch, but the new growth on a cut stem is much thinner and weaker.
For this reason, people often re-plant the cutting and throw out the rooted base to retain thicker,
stronger stems. The parent plant is imported from African collectors and Asian and European
growers. The “golden” variety is a cultivar from Florida.
Anubias, with their thick, fleshy leaves and dark
green color, have been very popular in the hobby
for decades due to their almost indestructible nature.
Their potential to grow under very subdued lighting,
and without difficult caretaking requirements, have made
them the most widely used plant in the hobby. Anubias
minima, otherwise known as Anubias barteri var. “glabra,”
is no exception. It grows easily under subdued light, either
underwater or above water in humid air. It can be attached
to wood or rock, or take root in the substrate. The leaves
are elongated with wavy edges and are sometimes naturally
variegated in color. It can grow to be fairly large, but since
it is such a slow grower, it may still be suitable for smaller
aquariums for a year or so. It is usually left alone by fish
that like to nibble on plants and is also secure enough to
withstand fish that like to dig, making it appropriate for cichlids, goldfish, and other fish that are often
hard to keep with plants.
The leaves grow from a thick horizontal root called a rhizome. A large plant may be divided into
several plants by cutting the rhizome cleanly between leaves. Its native habitat is West Africa, where
it grows firmly attached to rocks in water or in muddy soil, and under either full shade or full
sunlight. It is highly adaptable to a wide range of water conditions, but soft to medium hard water
would be ideal. Any hobbyist should be able to keep this plant with great success. It is imported
from West Africa, but it is now cultivated in Florida.