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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Low to Very High
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Ludwigia
Region: Unknown
Location: Unknown
Size: 4 inches
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Ludwigia species have long been a staple of the planted aquarium hobby. Their attractive wavy leaves and ease of culture have made them very popular. A fairly recent introduction by the Danish company Tropica is Ludwigia sp. 'Rubin'. This Ludwigia from an unknown location the New World is notable for its slightly narrower leaves and striking blood-red coloration. It is available through trade among hobbyists in the United States and through Tropica elsewhere. It has been traded as a variation of the familiar L. repens, but may actually be of hybrid derivation.

Like the familiar L. repens, the 'Rubin' variety is very easy to grow and has no particular demands. It grows quickly and equally well in a wide variety of conditions. Unfortunately, maintaining its deep red coloration is somewhat more of a challenge. Strong and unobstructed lighting from sources like power compact fluorescents or metal halides along with a good supply of iron go a long way towards that goal. Surprisingly abundant roots are formed at the nodes; their removal does not harm the plant. The only other unusual thing about Ludwigia sp. 'Rubin' is its sensitivity to shipping; it usually arrives in much less than perfect condition. However, it always recovers when provided with a good home.

Propagation above or below water is unproblematic and trouble-free. Side shoots are numerous and formed constantly.

As one of the reddest of the red plants, Ludwigia sp. 'Rubin' is quite an eye catcher. Even a few stems make a big impact as either a neatly maintained mid ground stand or as a group of stems protruding from behind a differently colored plant in the background. It makes a great contrast to either light or dark green plants and looks especially good with Microsorum pteropus 'narrow' or Hygrophila balsamica.

Photo #1 Submersed: US and International Copyright 2006 by Tim Gross All Rights Reserved

Photo #2 Emersed: US and International Copyright 2006 by Tim Gross All Rights Reserved