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HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA 'ANGUSTIFOLIA'

Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Hygrophila
Region: Asia
Location: Southeast Asia
Size: Stem width: 15-25cm (6-10
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia' can be found growing both emersed and submersed in or along slow to fast flowing waters throughout southeast Asia. Although not as common in the hobby as the 'siamensis' and 'stricta' forms of H. corymbosa, this desirable stem plant can be easily obtained through trading with other hobbyists. Also, both Tropica and Oriental Aquariums grow this plant in their facilities.

The culture of this elegant weed is not difficult if one meets its minimal requirements. Lighting should be moderate to intense. Although not necessary for satisfactory health, CO2 supplementation is necessary for vibrantly healthy, robust growth. Under intense lighting, this H. corymbosa var. will require ample nitrate, phosphate, potassium, and trace fertilization. Due to its normally fast growth, it can be used as an indicator plant for several key plant nutrients. Small holes forming on the older leaves signal a potassium deficiency, premature yellowing and dying of older leaves signals a nitrate deficiency, and pale, almost white new growth usually signals an iron or trace deficiency. Although a minimal factor for its overall health, a moderate water current flowing across this species is beneficial and helps display the graceful, undulating foliage at its best.

If it is well illuminated and well fed, this stem plant will reward the hobbyist with rapid, robust growth and individual leaves that extend up to five inches in length. Propagation can be done easily through the pruning of lateral shoots which readily form along the stem. Also, propagation can also be done by pruning and replanting the top portion of the stem. The pruned, rooted portion will become bushier and bushier after repeated trimmings in this manner. This stem plant readily pierces the water surface and continues growing in the emersed form, which can potentially form attractive blue-violet flowers. As an important reminder to hobbyists, commercially obtained specimens are frequently grown emersed and do not always succeed in making the transition to the submersed form.

H. corymbosa 'angustifolia', with its graceful elongate foliage, is highly suited to the background of large aquaria where it can be an interesting foil to broad leaved or round leaved stem plants. It also lends itself well to forming free standing groupings in mound arrangements for medium to large sized aquaria, where the sinuous leaves can most easily sway and waft in a gentle current.

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

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