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


As yet another member of the C. wendtii group of Cryptocorynes, C. undulata has been regularly available for many years in the aquatic plant trade. It can be found growing both submersed and emersed in streams and rivers in its native habitat on the island of Sri Lanka.

As a part of the C. wendtii group, C. undulata possesses the ease of maintenance shared by other species within the group. The species will grow in unfertilized water under low light, but its growth will be proportionately retarded and the plant will grow taller. However, if C. undulata is planted in a nutritious substrate and is subjected to high light, its rate of growth will substantially increase though the overall size of the plants will decrease. Under these conditions, a stand of runners can develop into a substantial mass within a few months. CO2 injection is unnecessary. Emersed cultivation is productive if the plants are grown in moist loam and misted daily.

The propagation of C. undulata can be accomplished by moving any runners that develop close to the base of the mother plant. After having time to root, these smaller plants will grow well and swiftly develop into mature specimens.

With its brown, slightly undulate, sometimes marmorate (marbled) leaves, C. undulata is a unique species which the aquarist may effectively employ in the middle zone of the aquarium. It contrasts agreeably with light green and intensely red plants, and if it is planted behind a stand of low-growing green plants (Ranalisma rostrata or Echinodorus tenellus, for example), it appears especially appealing.

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

Photo #2: US and International Copyright 2004 by Paul Krombholz All Rights Reserved.

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