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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Rosette
Family: Araceae
Genus: Cryptocoryne
Region: Asia
Location: Sri Lanka
Size: Height: 5-10cm (2-4
Growth Rate: Slow
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Cryptocoryne parva is the smallest known Cryptocryne and is endemic to the highlands of central Sri Lanka near the city of Kandy, where it grows in dense communities as an amphibious resident of stream banks. It has been in the aquarium hobby for many years, but has never been very common, most likely due to its very slow rate of growth. Despite this, it can be found without much trouble from specialty plant sellers and hobbyists.

As mentioned above, C. parva grows very slowly, something that does not change even under ideal conditions. Unlike most Cryptocoryne spp., it requires a fair amount of light. To some degree, it will lose its desirable low growth and will grow even more slowly than normal under lighting considered adequate for related species. The addition of ample carbon dioxide and root fertilization benefits growth considerably. In addition, C. parva seems to need a good deal of both iron and potassium to look its best. Without both, it is susceptible to chlorotic and pinhole-riddled leaves.

Propagating C. parva requires only the above mentioned conditions and patience. New plants may be obtained through side shoots of the rhizome and by runners, both of which occur more frequently in the plant's unproblematic emersed culture.

Given its small stature, this Cryptocoryne sp. is an excellent plant for small tanks and for the foreground of a tank of any size.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2005 by Tony Gomez All Rights Reserved.

Photo #2: US and International Copyright 2005 by neonfish3 All Rights Reserved.

Photo #3: US and International Copyright 2005 by Jan Bastmeijer All Rights Reserved.