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Hardiness: Very Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Lagarosiphon
Region: Africa
Location: South Africa, Zimbabwe
Size: Stem width: 3-5cm (1-2
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: No


Lagarosiphon major, an obligate aquatic, grows floating or anchored by the roots in stagnant, cool water. Its native range is restricted to southern Africa, which has a cooler climate than the rest of the predominantly tropical continent. There are also introduced, naturalized populations in Western Europe and New Zealand. Although this stem plant has been grown by aquarists since 1906, it has been phased out of the hobby in favor of more attractive, more heat tolerant species. For many years, it was erroneously known as Lagarosiphon muscoides var. major and Elodea crispa.

Cultivation of this species is similar to that of its close relative Egeria densa, more popularly known as anachris. It makes few demands on the hobbyist other than moderate lighting and cool water around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is kept too warm for extended periods of time, this weed will disintegrate within a few weeks. Although growth is most rapid and vigorous in soft, lime deficient water, it is hardly difficult to grow it in hard water as well.

This stem plant can either be planted in the substrate or left floating in the aquarium. Once established, growth can be extraordinarily fast! Propagation at this point is, understandably, effortless though the pruning of lateral shoots.

L. major is not used often by aquascapers today. However, its attractive, glassy, down-curved leaves make it a beautiful background plant for cooler water aquaria such as those which house goldfish or white cloud minnows.

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