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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Low
Plant Structure: Rosette
Family: Araceae
Genus: Cryptocoryne
Region: Asia
Location: Sri Lanka
Size: 10-15cm (4-6in) in height
Growth Rate: Slow
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


The triploid form of the plant Cryptocoryne beckettii used to be erroneously traded under the name 'Cryptocoryne petchii'. Regardless, this beautiful and established plant from the C. wendtii group of Cryptocoryne spp. from Sri Lanka has been a staple in the aquatic plant hobby for over sixty years. It can be found (still usually available under its misnomer) at most shops that sell aquatic plants.

The easy culture of this plant illustrates the typical behavior of a Cryptocoryne from Sri Lanka. It is diverse in its tolerances of both water quality and hardness. Light, though appreciated in quantity, seems to play only a nominal role in its maintenance. The brownish rosettes, after taking root, can spread comparatively quickly and will soon form thick colonies in the aquarium. If the substrate is rich, growth will probably be a bit more rapid. Heavy fertilization and CO2 supplementation are appreciated by this species but are not necessary to achieve ample growth. Emersed culture is also possible using a rich substrate within a shallow pool of water, and it is not uncommon for this species to develop flowers under these conditions. Daily misting of emersed plants is beneficial.

Propagation of C. beckettii 'petchii' is not difficult. Though runners will develop at a distance from the rhizome of the original plant, the aquarist can attempt to accelerate the spreading of this plant by removing the specimen from the substrate and gently removing the smaller plants that have grown within the root complex of the original. These the aquarist should replant. This procedure should be replicated every so often until the desired density of foliage is reached.

Most of the Cryptocoryne spp. from Sri Lanka are most suitable (if pruned regularly) for midground planting. This species in particular, with its delicate red-brown leaves, renders a notable disparity in color to which other plants may easily be contrasted.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2004 by Tula Top All Rights Reserved.

Photo #2: US and International Copyright 2004 by Tula Top All Rights Reserved.

Photo #3: US and International Copyright 2004 by Jan Bastmeijer All Rights Reserved.