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Synonyms: Polygonum hydropiperoides
Hardiness: Moderate
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Region: North and South America
Location: North and South America
Size: Stem width 5 inches
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Persicaria hydropiperoides is a widespread amphibious Persicaria (formerly Polygonum native to wide swaths of both North and South America. It is always found near - usually still - water and often partially submerged, a habit that sets it apart from many other North American Persicaria, even those also able to grow below water. Its distinctive upright inflorescence and tiny white flowers also make it relatively easy to identify. Most easily obtained by collection in its native range, it is nonetheless kept and traded by a small number of hobbyists there and elsewhere and may therefore be obtained that way.

Although it is not as flashy as some related species, it possesses a subtle beauty of its own. Capable of surviving and even growing vigorously in lower light conditions, P. hydropiperoides looks far better under conditions of high light and nutrients, under which its leaves are waviest and the most vivid. Unlike several other American species, it is not overly leggy. In any circumstance, it maintains a rigid upright growth posture that makes it an easy species to utilize. While not an exceptionally large plant, this Persicaria is not small and requires some room; a thirty gallon or larger aquarium is recommended.

Suitable for both the background and mid ground, it arguably looks best in the latter location as a strong and closely-spaced grouping. P. hydropiperoides looks fantastic as both a foil to red plants and as a textural element in a lush, all-green aquascape. A particularly interesting display might include both it and the related Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo', which, while quite similar in structure and growth habit, features a radically different magenta coloration.

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

Photo #2 Inflorescence: US and International Copyright 2009 by Bhushan Dalvi. All Rights Reserved.