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AMMANNIA PEDICELLATA

Synonyms: Nesaea pedicellata
Hardiness: Difficult
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Ammannia
Region: Africa
Location: West Africa
Size: Individual stem width: 3-20cm (1-8in)
Growth Rate: Medium
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

The subtly colored Ammannia pedicellata (formerly classified as Nesaea) can be found growing in seasonal pools and marshes on its native continent of Africa. It is well established in the hobby and is available commercially both in Europe and North America.

A. pedicellata produces long, bright green leaves with an orange blush and bright red stems when in good health. Medium light is sufficient for good growth, as well as a moderately rich substrate. This species is slow to recover from deficiencies (particularly of nitrogen), so care should be taken to maintain a steady rate of fertilization of both macro- and micronutrients in the aquarium. There is suspicion that this and other Ammannia spp. may be sensitive to excessive potassium levels. Though CO2 supplementation is unnecessary, its use tends to induce bushier growth and shorter internodes (characteristics which are inclined to make stems of this species appear more decorative). The inclusion of this species in a moist terrarium or another emersed environment is possible and easily accomplished. The emersed appearance of this species is constituted by deep green leaves with thin, bright red stems.

The propagation of A. pedicellata is a simple matter of pruning off the lateral shoots that develop on the nodes and replanting them. The replanted stems are sometimes slow to resume growth, but this problem can be thwarted by a routine of steady and regular fertilization.

With its understated coloration, A. pedicellata is perfect for adding a hint of color to a layout where a bright red would seem inappropriate. Due to its large size, this species is generally most appropriate for the midgrounds and backgrounds of aquariums greater than 50 U.S. gallons in volume.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2004 by Ghazanfar Ghori All Rights Reserved.

References and further reading: Graham, S.A., & Gandhi, K. (2013). Nomenclatural Changes Resulting from the Transfer of Nesaea and Hionanthera to Ammannia (Lythraceae). Harvard Papers in Botany, 18(1): 73-91.