The Four-leaved star plant is still relatively new to the aquarium hobby and soon turned out to be an undemanding, very fast-growing and also beautiful stem plant. It was first introduced to Europe from Laos as Pogostemon stellatus “Octopus”, and in 2013 its true identity was revealed. Pogostemon quadrifolius is widespread from India and Bangladesh to Southeast Asia as a marsh and water plant. It has whorls of mostly four leaves at the stem nodes, to which the species name P. quadrifolius refers. In the submerged form (submersed) its leaves are about 12 – 14 cm long and 3 mm wide. They are often curved sideways, hence the trade name “Octopus”. The underside of the light to medium green leaves is partly tinted pale purple and the shoot tips can turn reddish-brown. The stems, about 3.5 mm thick, grow loosely upright or to the side and are moderately branched. In the terrestrial form (emersed) the leaves are broader and shorter than in the submerged plant. Planted in the aquarium, the emersed stems soon form submerged shoots with the typical long, narrow leaves.
Hemianthus glomeratus is a delicate stem plant from Florida. In the hobby, it has long been known under the erroneous name H. micranthemoides (or Micranthemum micranthemoides). It was recently identified correctly in the USA. With its small, light green curved leaves it is nice for beautiful dense group plantings. Under intensive light it tends to develop a creeping growth habit and thus can be used as foreground plant for strongly-lit tanks. However, it is better-suited for bushy groups in the middle ground of larger tanks or for the background of nano aquaria. Under strong light it can also be cultivated emerged, given that the substrate is kept moist. Then you’ll get a dense mat with very small leaves.
This cosmopolitan stem plant turns red easier and is smaller than the well-known Ludwigia repens ’Rubin’. Each stalk becomes 2-4 cm wide and 10-30 cm high. The plant willingly creates side shoots, but cutting increases the amount and the plant becomes even denser. The cut-off shoots quickly generate new roots when planted. The plant becomes intensely red and grows better, when placed in light and with added CO2.
Type: Stem Origin: Cosmopolitan Growth rate: Medium Height: 10 – 30+ Light demand: Low CO2 : Low
This American Eleocharis has a fresh grass green colour and grows to be 20-40cm high. It is basic and low maintenance. Each straw is only few millimeters thick and the plant maintains an open form of growth. It is suitable as a background plant, and can further be planted in front and in the centre of the aquarium, in transparent wads, in order to create depth and perspective. The plant spreads through runners, which occasionally have to be trimmed and maybe planted elsewhere.
Type: Stolon Origin: North America Growth rate: Medium Height: 20 – 30+ Light demand: Low CO2 : Low
Denna art är en relativt liten Cryptocoryne-art och den blir sällan högre än 10-15 cm och därför passar den ofta bra i akvariets förgrund. I likhet med andra arter i släktet kräver den en tillvänjningsperiod innan den på allvar börjar växa. Den växer relativt långsamt i de flesta vatten. Ett näringsrikt bottenmaterial är en klar fördel för artens välbefinnande. Plötsliga förändringar av ljus eller vattenvärden skall undvikas eftersom då bladen lätt kan ruttna. Den skall inte heller flyttas runt i akvariet. Ett lämpligt akvarium bör ha någorlunda cirkulation. Bladen kan bli upp till 12 cm långa och är mellan 0,6 till 2,5 cm breda. Om den skulle drabbas av den s.k. Cryptocoryne-sjukan så skall man inte slänga den eftersom den efter några veckor bildar nya skott. Förökning sker genom tämligen talrika avläggare. Man bör plantera den i en liten grupp. Sannolikt är arten en odlingsvariant av C. willisii.
Bacopa caroliniana originates from US and has been used as an aquarium plant for many years. Stems become 10-30 cm long and 3-4 cm wide, branching willingly from the bottom. It has few demands and thus very convenient for beginners. Its slow growth rate makes it one of the few stem plants that do not need much attention. Like most stem plants, it is most decorative when planted in small groups. Easy to propagate by cuttings; take a side shoot and plant it in the bottom.
Type: Stem Origin: North America Growth rate: Slow Height: 20 – 30+ Light demand: Low CO2 : Low
Heteranthera zosterifolia from South America is an extremely beautiful plant, which forms a lot of side shoots and thus quickly forms a bushy plant group.
Stems can become 30-50 cm tall and 6-12 cm wide. Leaves often become black on the back. In strong light growth is intensive, and the plant must be pruned before it becomes so compact that no light reaches the lower leaves. Water roots often form on the stem. Those are easily cut and replanted.
In open aquariums, it forms small blue flowers if some shoots are allowed to spread on the surface.
Plant info Type: Stem Origin: South America Growth rate: High Height: 20 – 30+ Light demand: Low CO2 : Medium