I present to you one of the best aquarium plants we've ever collected: Eriocaulon compressum
. This is a native species found from Texas up along the coast to NJ. The first time we found it was in New Jersey, but those plants didn't fare as well as we'd hoped. A newer collection from Florida gave us plants that do very well, nearly rivaling E. parkeri
for durability.* But this is a MUCH bigger plant. They can get to be about ten inches tall and a bit wider, though they can really get going with the division and end up forming huge clumps.
Pulled up and ready for division:
Part of my submersed stand (ignore the soon-to-be-gone algae and floating plants bits - Ludwigi
a cf. suffruticosa
in front there)(see the smallish rosy barb on the left for size comparison):
This species appears to be well adapted to submersed life and what grows submerged is quite different from the relatively small emersed plants. For such a substantial plant, its roots are pretty small, and it seems that, at least where we found it in NJ, that plants that come up from the substrate and float off are a key means of its dispersal. Unfortunately, they are very buoyant, and you really have to weigh them down well. I''m going to be doing some experiments with different ways of attaching them to rocks.
* We found the only native Syngonanthus
, S. flavidulus
, with it, but that species does NOT appreciate continuous submersion. Looks neat though. There was also Ludwigia linifolia
, which does grow submersed but doesn't look so hot and Proserpinaca pectinata
, which is pretty nice.