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Hardiness: Very Easy
Light Needs: Low
Plant Structure: Rhizome
Family: Araceae
Genus: Anubias
Region: Africa
Location: Southeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea
Size: Height: 25-45cm (10-18 in)
Growth Rate: Slow
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Anubias barteri var. barteri, named after the collector Charles Barter, is a common and popular aquarium plant due to its unproblematic culture. Small specimens of this variety can be told apart from A. barteri var. nana by the longer length of the petiole in the former. In the wild, it can be found in shaded to semi shaded locations in fast flowing rivers and streams in extreme southeastern West Africa. Here, it is often found growing on large stones or logs (rarely in the substrate) emersed, semi emersed or (rarely) totally submersed. This adaptable plant is a staple in pet stores. All the major nurseries continuously offer it.

A. barteri var. barteri is highly tolerant of even poor growing conditions. Although higher lighting and CO2 supplementation do promote faster and larger growth, this aroid can grow in very dim light (less than 2 watts per gallon) with no CO2 injection. Water hardness and pH levels are not an issue with this species. However, this Anubias sp. does appreciate good water flow over the leaves, especially under high light where water flow helps inhibit spot algae on the leaves. To induce flowering and further reduce spot algae under intense lighting, phosphate levels should be raised to around 2 ppm.

Unlike the equally popular A. barteri var. nana, this subspecies has a tendency to grow upward like a tree instead of along the substrate or growing surface. Although it grows faster than most other Anubias sp., growth is still slow. Propagation can be done by cutting the rhizome, especially at locations where a side shoot has formed.

A. barteri var. barteri is best suited for the midground to background of very large aquariums. It is especially beautiful when contrasted with soft textured plants like mosses, liverworts, and various fine leaved stem plants. Due to the leathery texture of the leaves, it is also highly suitable for the greening of normally stark cichlid aquaria. Yet another place for this plant is the paludarium, where it readily thrives in semi emersed culture.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2005 by Bjarne All Rights Reserved

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

Photo #3: US and International Copyright 2004 by Jay Luto All Rights Reserved.