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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Rotala
Region: Asia
Location: Unknown
Size: Individual stem width: 3 cm ( 1in)
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Plants that lend themselves particularly well to aquascaping are always in demand, and Rotala sp. 'Green' is no exception. Known in the hobby as both Rotala rotundifolia 'Green' and Rotala sp. 'Green', the taxonomic status of this plant is still uncertain. It may be either a form of R. rotundifolia or a separate species. Regardless of its nomenclature, however, this beautiful plant is swiftly gaining popularity due to its ease of cultivation and striking appearance. No data is available concerning its specific habitat, though the website of aquatic plant nursery Tropica states that its home continent is Asia.

Like R. rotundifolia, Rotala sp. 'Green' is easy to grow. Though a wide range of light values will be tolerated, the higher the better is usually the case. This stem plant seems to be more predisposed to creeping across the substrate than R. rotundifolia. Though slightly warmer water will enhance its growth, this species demands no special treatment concerning pH or water hardness. CO2 is unnecessary, though speedier and healthier growth will result if it is used. Water column fertilization, especially the dosing of nitrate and iron, is essential or deficiencies will ensue; symptoms of deficiency include pale growth, reduced leaf size, and, eventually, the death of the stem (stunting). If one can coax a stem or two of this plant into an emersed state, terrestrial propagation in moist soil will subsequently be very productive.

Rotala sp. 'Green' spreads easily via lateral shoots, which, under good conditions, are numerous. One has merely to remove one of these side shoots and replant it to create more plants. Repeated prunings of this plant across the top with a pair of scissors will result in very bushy, lush growth since it readily puts out new side shoots from the rooted portions.

The Japanese aquascaper Takashi Amano seems to be very fond of this species in his 'nature' layouts. Its bright green coloration, star-like texture, and tendency to form cascading, bushy growth renders it a good candidate for all planting zones of the aquarium. Its green foliage contrasts well with many other plants of varying leaf shapes and colors. Its small size make it an excellent candidate for nano planted aquaria.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2004 by Tula Top All Rights Reserved.

Photo #2: US and International Copyright 2004 by Norbert Sabat All Rights Reserved.

Photo #3: US and International Copyright 2004 by Norbert Sabat All Rights Reserved.

Photo #4: US and International Copyright 2004 by Jay Luto All Rights Reserved.