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Old 10-04-2004, 11:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Lobelia cardinalis small form "dwarf"



In a week I will have 50 bunches of Lobelia cardinalis small form, imported from Singapore.

I am going to great lengths to keep these plants healthy, they will be in a 55 gallon tank by themselves under 4/watts gallon and injected C02. These are the true dwarf species, which arfe only available from importers. The Lobelia produced by Florida Aquatic Nuseries is not the dwarf form.

I have found these plants to be fairly easy to grow under moderate to bright light and C02. I have lost plants fairly quickly though if they are too over shadowed, and they seem to like well oxygenated water. Maybe others experience is different?

Here is a link to Eriks article on the plant, the best written piece I have found:
http://www.e-aquaria.com/des_lobelia.html
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never really been able to figure out if the dwarf form is a cultivar. If not, to where is it native?
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Old 10-05-2004, 01:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Lobelia cardinalis is a North American native wildflower. Grows around bogs,streams, ponds. I've got it growing around my natural pond.

I strongly suspect that the dwarf LC in the aquarium trade is nothing more than the pure wild strain of Lobelia. I have several cultivars and the wild one is a considerably smaller plant than the ones people have been messing with. Nothing like that color red when it's blooming! Unfortunately the brilliant red flower is also it's downfall. People dig it up and try to grow it in their gardens and more often than not fail. Needs moisture, can't stand being mulched.

I haven't tried it in my tank. Really much prettier out in the bog.
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Old 10-05-2004, 06:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I bought a couple of plants in recent weeks (after searching high and low) and they have never looked back in NYC soft water with Flourite, CO2, NO3 and PO4 additions. They seem to be tolerant.

Plant finder:
https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ils.php?id=108

Andrew Cribb
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I got mine from a fellow hobbyist a couple years back and it has been growing well in both high and low light tanks ever since. Very slow growers though. Some people seem to have problems growing this stuff, I'm not sure why though, it's always done well for me.

Great looking plant
Giancarlo Podio
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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It's a great plant.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 10-05-2004, 11:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If I am not mistaken, the picture from the Plant Finder (needs a better name IMVHO ) is of the regular Lobelia cardinalis, which is many times larger than the dwarf variety. Aside from the size difference, L. cardinalis 'Small Form' has oval leaves while the regular variety has elliptical leaves.

Although extremely easy to grow IME, one thing of note is that this plant will literally melt if you happen to overdose K relatively to some-other-nutrient(s)-that-I-have-not-been-able-to-figure-out (suspecting Ca/Mg but who knows). Growing this plant emersed is also not difficult: shade to medium sun. Unlike Sue, my emersed specimens don't really care about moisture. I have two pots of the dwarf variety outside right now that I haven't water in weeks and they are still strong, showing no signs of wilting and the leaves are purple. You should try growing yours submersed Sue before looters dig yours away in the middle of the night.

Here is a picture of my L. cardinalis 'Small Form':
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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The small form comes from Oriental aquarium in Singapore, it is in their catalog. A cultivar is not a wild strain. Hybrids do occur in nature. If I understand the term correctly, a hybrid is the crossing of two species, a cultivar is a strain or variant introduced in a lab or controlled growing conditions. It can be geneticly manipulated or done in tissue culture.

The variants of Anubias nana that Oriental has like petite, narrowleaf, marble, varigated, or Stardust, is geneticaly mutated. My guess is this is what was done with the Lobelia "small form". Commercially grown Lobelia most likely is much different from the wild variety. From close cultivation and tissue culture size and colors can be changed. I had a 4 foot tall Lobelia growing in my Mothers garden that I picked up at Home Depot that looks entirely different than the emersed aquatic version. The "small form" aquatic version is different still.

Quote:
Aside from the size difference, L. cardinalis 'Small Form' has oval leaves while the regular variety has elliptical leaves.
I don't think that is true. They are basically the same shape when they are small. The dwarf just stays smaller, bushier, and shorter. Look at Ghazanfars picture I showed here. Look at the pictures on Eriks article, and your picture. That is exactly what the large or normal variety looks like when you buy it potted from Florida Aquatic, which everyone tells me is not the true dwarf form. When it grows up, it looks like the photo below. In my Forum, All Wet Thumb, we looked at it pretty closely. Svennovich shows a picture of an up rooted full size Lobelia from his tank that is just enourmous


This pic is not opening for me here...over the limit? here is the link

http://home.tiscali.be/apnd0007/foto.../lobelia_2.jpg
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Although extremely easy to grow IME, one thing of note is that this plant will literally melt if you happen to overdose K relatively to some-other-nutrient(s)-that-I-have-not-been-able-to-figure-out (suspecting Ca/Mg but who knows).
OMG That very thing happened to me, once, and the only thing I could think of that I was doing differently was adding K2SO4. I wasn't even adding very much, but I think the problem was that I wasn't dosing anything else at the time, so the water must have been "empty." It was the most sickeningly fast and virulent thing I'd ever seen happen to any plant. One day, my dwarf lobelias were looking very beautiful, then suddenly, they started melting from the *tips* (which made me think it was a disease of some sort). Five days later, they were rotted clear down to the roots, and I was very depressed about this for months . Never figured out what really happened, but maybe this was it!

Anyway, at least this melt-down hasn't happened again.

-Naomi
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Hudson
Quote:
Aside from the size difference, L. cardinalis 'Small Form' has oval leaves while the regular variety has elliptical leaves.
I don't think that is true. They are basically the same shape when they are small. The dwarf just stays smaller, bushier, and shorter. Look at Ghazanfars picture I showed here. Look at the pictures on Eriks article, and your picture. That is exactly what the large or normal variety looks like when you buy it potted from Florida Aquatic, which everyone tells me is not the true dwarf form. When it grows up, it looks like the photo below. In my Forum, All Wet Thumb, we looked at it pretty closely. Svennovich shows a picture of an up rooted full size Lobelia from his tank that is just enourmous
My picture above is of the Lobelia cardinalis 'Small Form' that I originally purchased from Lowcoaster, who imports from Oriental Aquarium. It is entirely possible that he may have sent me the wrong species since OA also cultivate the regular variety. But for what's to follow, I will assume that it is indeed the small form.

The regular L. cardinalis to which I referenced was originally purchased from Lowe's garden center, who ordered from I-don't-know-who. This strain look VERY much like Sven's photo which you posted and that in the Plant Finder. If you compare Erik's and my photo against those of Sven's, you would notice how the leaves on Sven's specimens are stretched, elongated to pointy tips, while the leaves on Erik's and mine are more oval whose leaf-tips are blunt and much more circular.

I have not had the opportunity to grow the specimen cultivated by Florida Aquatic so I can't comment on that. Maybe it's a third variety: an intermediate form? Is that what Gomer's plant is? His emersed specimen sure is funky looking -- not at all like an emersed L. cardinalis 'Small Form' from Oriental Aquarium. Perhaps Gomer can grace us with a photo of his plant submersed?

Oriental Aquarium's Specimen (photo courtesy of www.aquaticquotient.com)


Gomer's Specimen
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