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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Low
Plant Structure: Rosette
Family: Araceae
Genus: Cryptocoryne
Region: Asia
Location: Malaysia, Thailand
Size: Height: 7-20cm (3-8in)
Growth Rate: Slow
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Cryptocoryne cordata var. cordata 'blassii' can be found growing in marshy areas and swamps in southern Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, and on the island of Borneo. It is both the easiest to cultivate and most popular of the C. cordata group, as it is commonly found in aquarium stores and can be acquired through trading with other hobbyists.

This Cryptocoryne, although slow growing, is relatively undemanding. Lighting should be low to moderate�this plant has evolved to grow in shaded streams and ditches in its natural habitat. CO2 supplementation is not necessary, although it is beneficial. This species can tolerate hardness levels of up to 25dGH. To achieve its maximum size of nearly a foot, a rich substrate containing such additives as earthworm castings or soil should be provided.

C. cordata var. cordata 'blassii' is one of the easiest Cryptocorynes to grow emersed, requiring only moderate lighting and occasional misting to keep humidity levels high. Substrates can either be inert (if grown hydroponically) or rich.

This plant can reach heights of up to 20 cm in the aquarium, which it can achieve with a rich substrate and sufficient time. Yellowing or deteriorating leaves can be pruned by cutting them off with a sharp pair of scissors near the base of the plant.

Due to its unique leaf shape and coloration, C. cordata var. cordata 'blassii' is an excellent candidate for the midground of Dutch style aquaria where it can be planted in streets. This plant also lends itself well to layouts dominated by Cryptocoryne spp. because of its singular leaf shape and growth habit. In small aquariums less than three feet long, this plant can be used as a subtle focal point.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2004 by Micke-Eklund All Rights Reserved.

Photo #2: US and International Copyright 2004 by Jan Bastmeijer All Rights Reserved.