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Hardiness: Difficult
Light Needs: High
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Haloragaceae
Genus: Myriophyllum
Region: Asia
Location: India, Pakistan, Indonesia
Size: Stem width: 5-10cm (2-4in)
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Myriophyllum tuberculatum inhabits slow-flowing and stagnant bodies of water throughout the northern half of South America. It is not a very common plant in the United States. Most stores and websites offering this plant are actually offering a blander, red-brown species native to Florida. However, M. tuberculatum can be obtained through stores and sites which regularly import plants from the aquatic plant nurseries Oriental Aquariums and Tropica.

M. tuberculatum is a challenging plant to cultivate successfully within an aquarium. Intense lighting of 3 watts per gallon or more and CO2 are necessities if one hopes to have success with this Myriophyllum. Nitrates and phosphates should be dosed and kept at acceptable levels (5-15 ppm and 1-2 ppm respectively). Neither of these two macronutrients should ever be allowed to reach zero or stunting of the shoots will result. M. tuberculatum requires more iron and micronutrients than most other stem plants. Without sufficient micronutrients, the stems of this species will become very dark and small, and in cases of extreme deficiency, the death of the meristem will result. When conditions are to its liking, M. tuberculatum will attain a maximum diameter of four inches and will turn to a rusty red color.

Under good conditions, this milfoil grows up toward the surface rapidly, producing many side shoots and becoming very bushy. The pruning of this species is a matter of removing and replanting the more robust top portions, as the rooted portions of the stem are slow to throw out new growth. Propagation can be completed simply by plucking a side shoot from a main stem and replanting it in the substrate.

As with any reddish stem plant, this species is best used as a focal point or a colorful accent. When healthy, groupings of this species can make for a stunning, eye-catching fireball. It looks very beautiful when planted alongside green Myriophyllum and Limnophila spp.. It is also appropriate for small planted aquaria, due to its fine leaves and modest size.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2005 by Erik Leung All Rights Reserved.

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