I have been much impressed with the pictures that Biker has been sending to the Aquarium Photography Forum. From what I have seen, so far, he specializes in stem plants, and he grows related species together in groups and then photographs them. If you have not seen his pictures, you should go to the photography forum and look at them. He has over 90 posts, and most of them have pictures. If you are into stem plants, he has the collection to die for.
We need pictures like his for crypts. There are so many varieties, and the determination of whether they are species or not is a long way from being finalized. European Crypt enthusiasts mostly grow theirs emersed because they are easier to care for that way. Jan Bastmeijer has an extensive collection of emersed growth pictures, but very few submersed growth pictures.
I think that crypts are much more beautiful when grown submersed. Also, I think that differences in form and coloration are often greater in submersed varieties than emersed.
I would like to get interested crypt nuts started on a project to get pictures of groups of related crypts grown together. As we know, crypts are slow growers, and the time from planting to photographing is likely to be 6 months to a year.
Here are some groups that would be good subjects for group pictures. Let's start with one of the biggest groups.
1. C. wendtii varieties. There are so many of them! I have maybe four---a large brownish one, a smaller green with some brown one, a nearly all green one that I recently got from Naomi (gnome), one which I thought was var. red, but it doesn't look at all like the one pictured in the Plant Finder. I am not sure that all the above are wendtii. They came to me with that name, and they look sort of like I think wendtii ought to look with triangular, wavy, usually bullate leaves, broadest at the base. I know that there are quite a few varieties out there that I don't have. I have lost at least one through carelessness.
I volunteer to work on the wendtii group picture. I will set aside a tank for the project. Give me a few days to get pictures of the ones I have. I will post them and then ask those who have wendtii varieties not like mine to send me a plant of their variety. I will pay shipping costs.
Other volunteers? If you volunteer you can get varieties you don't have in your chosen group from other crypt nuts willing to participate.
Here are some other groups:
2. the crispatula group---balansae, crispatula, tonkinensis, etc. I have two, that are not balansae and not tonkinensis. My balansae died from poisoning by plastic trays. There is said to be a reddish balansae and a greenish balansae.
3. the beckettii group. Beckettii seems to exist in only one form, but there have been several different looking plants that people are calling petchii, the triploid form of beckettii. I had one that I thought was petchii that doesn't look like any of the present ones. Lost it.
4. the cordata group. Lots of forms here. I don't know very much about them. I have only one.
5. C. parva and the C. x willisii group. There is only one parva, but there seem to be a number of hybrids with parva and who knows what. These all are lumped unter the C. x willisii name by Jacobsen. Older names for these are C. nevillii and C. lucens. I suspect that there are more than one varieties that are in the nevillii subgroup and perhaps also the lucens subgroup.
6. the C. walkeri group. Lots of varieties here. these, when grown submersed are fairly large and have long narrow leaves. Maybe I am wrong here. The walkeri shown in Kasselmann has wider, shorter leaves widening all the way to the base, and it looks like the one I got from Naomi (gnome) that is supposed to be an all-green wendtii. Kasselmann says that walkeri can be differentiated from wendtii and beckettii by its "slightly stiff and upright growth". That doesn't help me. I am confused. All I know is that the one I think is walkeri was sold to me as lutea, and lutea is widely known by experts to really be a walkeri. My plant has long, narrow leaves that are green and brown to mostly brown. I have two other varieties similar to it in leaf shape, but not quite as large. One of these has red areas on its leaves, instead of brown.
7. the C. undulata group. I have what Jan Bastmeijer calls the 'classic' undulata. Apparently there are one or more other forms. Kasselmann's picture doesn't look like my plant.
8. C. pontederiifolia and C. moehlmannii. Are they visibly different when grown together?
9 C. albida. Are there really green and brown forms that remain green and brown when grown together?
10. C. affinis. The form available these days has muted colors compared to the old C. affinis (hartelliana) available in the early '60s. That plant had dark blue-green leaves with intense purple-red undersides. Does anybody have the old form? I don't have either form.