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LUDWIGIA ARCUATA

Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Ludwigia
Region: North America
Location: Southeastern United States
Size: Individual stem width: 3-5cm (1-2in)
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes

Description:

Though it is one of the most delicate-looking Ludwigia species, L. arcuata is also somewhat of a mainstay in the aquatic plant hobby. It is normally available as 'needle leaf Ludwigia' and can be procured through most internet aquatic plant retailers. The species is native to the southeastern U.S., where it grows creeping or submersed in palustrine (swampy) environments and along the edges of rivers and ponds. The submersed foliage of L. arcuata can sometimes be confused with that of Didiplis diandra or another Ludwigia, L. brevipes.

L. arcuata is a reddish stem plant that has a strong tendency to branch. Sufficient light is its principal requirement, though micronutrient fertilizers help to augment the red coloration of the shoot apexes and the undersides of the leaves. Sufficient macronutrients are typically derived from added fish foods, and the additions of nitrate, phosphate and potassium are often only necessary under conditions of high tank momentum with CO2 supplementation´┐Żsomething which usually only marginally increases this species´┐Ż rate of growth. This said, L. arcuata is a terrific choice for non-CO2 aquaria. Emersed culture is possible in wet or moist loam under good lighting. The beautiful yellow flowers of L. arcuata will also develop if the shoots are planted at the edge of a pond. These flowers have four comparatively large petals and are often the only characteristic distinguishing the species from L. brevipes.

Propagation of L. arcuata can be accomplished without trouble. Since the species has a tendency to branch, quite a few of the side shoots can be trimmed off and replanted. The species may also be 'topped' and replanted; new shoots will develop at the nodes of the portion left in the substrate soon thereafter.

Since the species is so thin in appearance, L. arcuata is most effectively planted in groupings that include at least half a dozen (and preferably more) shoots. These groupings, with their reddish and golden leaves, can be planted in the front and middle areas in the aquarium where they will show up best against a dark background or amongst other small leaved plants such as Hemianthus glomeratus or Rotala rotundifolia 'Green'.

Photo #1 Submersed: US and International Copyright 2004 by Daniel Larrson All Rights Reserved.

Photo #2 Submersed: US and International Copyright 2004 by Dam Nguyen All Rights Reserved.

Photo #3 Emersed with flower: US and International Copyright 2004 by Roland Seah Ming Chuen All Rights Reserved.

Photo #4 Submersed: US and International Copyright 2006 by Bjarne All Rights Reserved.

Photo #5 Submersed: US and International Copyright 2006 by Bjarne All Rights Reserved.