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PERSICARIA SP. 'KAWAGOEANUM'

Synonyms: Polygonum sp. 'Kawagoeanum'
Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Region: unknown
Location: unknown
Size: stem width 6 inches (15cm)
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' (sometimes referred to as Polygonum sp. 'Pink') is a new species to the hobby. Its taxonomic status is still uncertain, but it is apparently not actually P. kawagoeanum from Eastern Asia. Like most Persicaria, it inhabits wet locations like swamps, ditches, and the edges of streams. It is equally at home both above and below water and may be cultivated either way with ease. Not commonly sold by aquarium shops or online vendors, it is usually obtained through trade with other hobbyists.

Cultivation is not overly difficult if its basic needs are met. While not really suitable for 'low-tech' tanks, it nonetheless makes a suitable species for most aquarists. Strong light in the form of metal halides, T5s, or power compact florescent bulbs is recommended. Only then will the plant's vivid pink-orange coloration reach its maximum. Also, its tendency to lose its lower leaves, which is perfectly normal, can then be somewhat abated.

High concentrations of carbon dioxide, phosphate and iron help with coloration as well (as does the utilization of lamps with a color temperature of 6500 to 8000k). Besides that, few growth issues ever arise. Emersed cultivation features a noticeably accelerated growth speed even in less than ideal conditions. Under intense artificial lighting or sunlight, emersed leaves display dark chevron-shaped markings that are quite attractive.

In contrast to most other Persicaria, Persicaria sp. 'Kawagoeanum' does not feature a strongly vertical growth habit. Instead, it branches abundantly and forms a dense and easily maintained bush. Therefore, it is much more suited to Japanese-style layouts than to neatly- trimmed Dutch aquascapes. Given its tendency to lose its lower leaves, it is wise to hide the lower portions of the stems with driftwood or a mid ground planting. P. sp. 'Kawagoeanum' compliments Cyperus helferi especially well and, like the latter, is excellent for the background of medium to large sized aquariums.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2007 by Tim Gross All Rights Reserved.