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PERSICARIA SP. 'SAO PAULO'

Synonyms: Polygonum sp. 'Sao Paulo'
Hardiness: Moderate
Light Needs: Medium High
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Region: South America
Location: Sao Paulo region, Brazil
Size: Stem width 5 inches
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo' is a stunning new addition to the hobby hailing from Brazil. At present, the correct species name is still unknown. Under the proper conditions, it is arguably the most intensely colored species available for aquariums. It is available from Rayon Vert in Japan but is best obtained through trade elsewhere.

Although not really suitable for low light tanks, Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo' prospers under the sort of carbon dioxide injected, high light tanks that have become so popular in recent years. In particular, it does quite well in setups designed for Tonina fluviatilis, Eriocaulon or Syngonanthus species. To achieve maximum coloration and healthy growth, direct illumination from metal halide, power compact or T5 lighting is recommended. Also important are high volume iron dosing and phosphates of 1ppm or higher.

As far as its use in aquascapes goes, perhaps the greatest challenge presented by this species is the temptation to utilize too much of it; a few stems go a long way! Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo' possesses the classic rigid and upright Persicaria form and is thus amenable to being positioned in a stand of a few odd numbered stems. Against a background of light green plants, it is particularly striking.

An often overlooked use for this plant is as an emergent species in a paludarium or similar arrangement. There too, it displays strong coloration and grows a solid maroon to purple. Flowering, which often also occurs while submerged, is encouraged and adds interest to the display.

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