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LIMNOPHILA SP. 'GUINEA BROAD-LEAF'

Hardiness: Moderate
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Plantaganaceae
Genus: Limnophila
Region: Africa
Location: Guinea, elsewhere?
Size: Stem width 1.5 inches
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

One of many new plants coming into culture from Africa, Limnophila sp. ‘Guinea Broad-Leaf’ first appeared in the aquarium hobby in 2008. Since then, it has quickly spread from hobbyist to hobbyist through trading. Because it is likely not amenable to commercial propagation, trading and sale in specialized shops will likely remain the only ways to obtain it.

The submersed leaves of ‘Guinea Broad-Leaf’ are usually intermediate between pinnate species such as L. indica and the leaves of species that maintain lanceolate leaves even submerged, like L. aromatica, appearing in whorls of bright green pinnatifid leaves that remind some of those of celery. Grown under full sun, the leaves may be much finer. A small and delicate plant, it is not suited for the traditional role of Limnophila species: the background. Instead, it is best used as a mid-ground hedge much like Bacopa australis, where it can be pruned into contoured mounds.

Culture of this species is not terribly difficult under the necessary conditions. First and foremost, Limnophila sp. ‘Guinea Broad-Leaf’ demands healthy levels of macro nutrients; without them, it quickly declines, at first forming clear patches on its leaves and then melting. Secondly, it does not fare well when shaded or deprived of carbon dioxide, iron or good water flow. If those things are provided, growth is luxurious and rather fast, with the stems producing many side shoots which may be clipped and replanted.

Attempts to obtain emersed growth have thus far not been successful, although ovate, parallel-veined, emersed-style leaves have been formed, hinting at its emersed appearance. Until conversion succeeds, its species will remain unconfirmed.

Photo #1: Submersed US and International Copyright 2009 by Tim Gross All Rights Reserved