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STAUROGYNE SP. 'PORTO VELHO'

Synonyms: Hygrophila sp. 'Porto Velho' (erroneous), Hygrophila sp. 'Roraima' (erroneous)
Hardiness: Moderate
Light Needs: Medium High
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Staurogyne
Region: South America
Location: Brazil
Size: stem width 2 inches
Growth Rate: Moderate
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

One of the most popular new foreground plants of recent years, Staurogyne sp. ‘Porto Velho’ is an attractive and versatile species that will likely remain so well into the future. Although it is more established in Japan, it is a relatively new entry into the United States, where it first appeared in specialty aquarium shops. Plants traded as Hygrophila sp. ‘Roraima’ are apparently the same thing and may be from a separate importation. The Brazilian states of Rondonia – of which Porto Velho is the capital - and Roraima are both in the western part of the country, so it may simply be two collections of a species with a range that encompasses both areas. Introduced as a Hygrophila, it is instead a member of the closely related genus Staurogyne like the species introduced by Tropica in early 2008.

Regardless of its true identity, Staurogyne sp. ‘Porto Velho’ is deservedly well-liked. In all but the lowest light conditions, it grows much like familiar terrestrial ivy, making it an outstanding foreground plant. Under unobstructed light, subtle purplish accents highlight what are otherwise leaves of a uniform grayish green. Somewhat slow to acclimate, it picks up speed in time and requires occasional thinning. Selective trimming over the whole of the planting soon fills back in and is preferable to removing large chunks. By doing so, cuttings may be easily obtained.

Growing this species emersed can be surprisingly challenging. A slow but steady supply of macro and micro nutrients combined with strong lighting are necessary.

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

Photo #2 Submersed closeup: US and International Copyright 2007 by Tim Gross. All Rights Reserved.

Photo #3 Inflorescence with flowers: US and International Copyright 2009 by Michael Teesdale All Rights Reserved.

Photo #4 flowers: US and International Copyright 2009 by Michael Teesdale All Rights Reserved.