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Hardiness: Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Haloragaceae
Genus: Myriophyllum
Region: South America
Location: Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru
Size: Individual stem width: 5-8cm (2-3in)
Growth Rate: Very fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes


Myriophyllum mattogrossense comes from wetland regions of South America. This species was once lumped together and confused the trade with the red Myriophyllum tuberculatum in the trade. A rather recent addition to the hobby, this species, due to its beauty and ease of growth, is quickly gaining in popularity in the planted aquarium hobby. It is now relatively commonly cultivated.

This Myriophyllum is perhaps one of the easiest to grow. Lighting should be at least moderate (2+ watts per gallon with power compact bulbs as a rule of thumb for moderately sized planted aquaria), but more intense lighting leads to larger leaf whorls and more intense pearling. This stem plant is an excellent candidate for non-CO2, moderately lit aquaria where it will still grow healthy, large, green whorls. It is not too fussy about NO3 and PO4 levels. Higher NO3 (10 ppm or more) and higher PO4 (1.5-2 ppm) do promote the largest, most robust stems. If it turns pale or white, this plant is not getting enough iron or micronutrients.

M. mattogrossense, due to its fast growth rate, will require frequent pruning. Pruning can be done by either topping the plant and replanting the tops or pruning off the tops and leaving the rooted portions in place. Propagation is simple, as this plant produces a profusion of side shoots which can be snipped off and planted into the substrate.

This plant, perhaps undeservingly, is used infrequently in Nature Aquarium or Dutch style layouts. As time passes, however, it should continue to become even more popular in the trade. This attractive frilly plant can serve as an attractive background plant or green filler. All in all, M. mattogrossense is an excellent choice for the beginner looking for a fast growing, easy to grow, yet attractive stem plant.

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

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

Photo #3: US and International Copyright 2004 by Tula Top All Rights Reserved.