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EGERIA DENSA

Synonyms: Anacharis densa
Hardiness: Very Easy
Light Needs: Medium
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Egeria
Region: Central/South America
Location: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay; introduced to other continents
Size: Individual stem width: 3-7 cm (1-2.5 in)
Growth Rate: Very fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: No

Description:

Egeria densa, as probably one of the most popular aquarium and pond plants of all time, has also been known as Anachris, Brazilian Elodea, and sometimes as simply Elodea, a name stemming from its previous classification in the genus. Though this species has been introduced into bodies of water on every continent except for Antarctica, its natural distribution is comprised of only parts of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. It can be found growing in deep, stagnant or slow-moving bodies of water, and it is readily available in quantity far and wide.

E. densa is among the most easily grown aquatic plants offered for sale today. It will grow either floating or anchored in the substrate at a rate which, if it finds the ambient conditions to be agreeable, is emphatically rapid. This fact lends to its use as an efficient oxygenating agent in both ponds and aquaria. Though hard, lime-rich water and lower temperatures are favored most, this species can endure higher temperatures for a short period of time and growth is only marginally slowed by softer water. CO2 will unquestionably boost the growth rate of this species even though otherwise it could still be described as epidemic. In ponds during the summer, this species will often develop its characteristic white, three-petal flowers. It should also be noted that this species is an effective user of bicarbonate.

Propagation of E. densa is straightforward and trouble-free. All the aquarist needs to do if he or she desires more plants is to sever the top section a the stem and replant it. The bottom portion of the severed stem will soon develop lateral shoots. In floating plants, lateral shoots are far more common and can be cut from the main stem. They will soon spread.

The use of this plant in the aquascape is admittedly limited due to its rapid growth and aversion toward higher temperatures. Nonetheless, if the aquarist is shrewd in his or her pruning practices, an effective backdrop can be rendered with this species. With its deep green color and semi-translucent leaves (they are only two cell layers thick), this species can lend a distinctive texture to the home aquarium.

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