Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received a plant which is supposedly Bolbitis heteroclita „cuspidata" but looks a lot like B. heudelottii but is still small. How can I identify the difference?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
Could You take a photo? - Emersed "cuspidata": http://blog.christel-kasselmann.de/...ita-cuspidata-bolbitis-heteroclita-difformis/
Looks indeed similar to small heudelotii. Submersed leaves stiffer than heudelotii ones, not that pretty as in the photo in Kasselmann's blog.
They may be told apart by that: The heteroclita variants, incl. cuspidata, produce frequently plantlets on the leaves. These are apparently very rare on Bolbitis heudelotii leaves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, it took a while, but here are some pictures. I only have it submersed so hard to tell about the emersed leaves. A little more info: I've heudellotti as well, but these leaves get way larger and grow faster. This one is after more than half a year only about 8 cm:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
I agree with you, that looks very much like Bolbitis heudelotii, and I'm sure it's not a heteroclita form.
Hard to say if growth for more than 1/2 year is enough for reaching the full size, but it would be exciting if it turned out to be a dwarf form of B. heudelotii. I'm not sure whether such Bolbitis really exists, but there are some pics in the www showing plants with names such as "Bolbitis Guinea 2002" and "2005", resp.:
https://flic.kr/p/6584168081 http://aquaria2.ru/node/11061
http://www.grassyaqua.com/pf_ai.html
See also that discussion about B. heudelotii variants:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...sions/58059-variants-bolbitis-heudelotii.html
(the "Bolbitis Baby leaf" mentioned by Vadim is apparently B. heteroclita "difformis")
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,309 Posts
Hi Yo-han,

A couple of years ago I acquired a Bolbitis that was called Bolbitis 'small form' from Ghazanfar Ghori on this forum. The leaf itself looks very similar to B. heudelotii but the leaves only grow about 1/2 the length of B. heudelotii and the leaves are not upright like but more 'weeping' at times growing almost horizontally. I have been growing it for about 3 years now. It looks very similar to the species in your picture which is why I brought it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would like it if it is a dwarf variety. But for selling it I like to know the real name:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,309 Posts
Hi Johan,

I agree, hopefully more information will be learned about these 'unidentified' species.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
The leaf itself looks very similar to B. heudelotii but the leaves only grow about 1/2 the length of B. heudelotii and the leaves are not upright like but more 'weeping' at times growing almost horizontally.
That recalls some discussions about the small-looking Bolbitis heudelotii in Amano's scapes, as here: http://www.varrell.com/nature-aquar...-amano-image-08-superb-nature-style-aquarium/
thought to be accomplished just by regular trimming, but who knows, perhaps that's a variant like that from Johan and Ghazanfar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How about this: Still the same Bolbitis, starts producing more and more leaves like the one on the right. With a heudelotii leave from the same tank on the left for comparison. Is this still within a normal range of variation?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Over half a year. The odd Bolbitis is still only half the size. About 12-15 cm long leaves. The heudelotii has 30-40cm leaves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
Sounds good; has it a rather "weeping" habit as Seattle_Aquarist notices on Ghazanfar's B. "small form"?
However I think it's generally hard to distinguish real size variation in such slow stuff as Java fern, Bolbitis, Anubias, Crypts, Buce as they may take a very long time, not less than one year or so and under best conditions, to reach the possible maximum size. E.g. I had a "needle leaf" type Java fern that was short, about 10 cm more than 1 year, then it started developing ca. 30 cm long leaves.

Taxonomically: At the moment I don't have Hennipman's Bolbitis monograph (1977) at hand, but I remember that B. heudelotii is treated as relatively isolated species, and no other very similar aquatic Bolbitis species are known. Within B. heudelotii no taxonomic distinction (subsp., var. or so). Given the huge range of B. heudelotii (whole tropical Africa) one may expect genetically fixed variation, but it doesn't make sense for the botanists to distinguish units with scientific names if the variation is continuous.
If there are different cultivated Bolbitis heudelotii strains (I think your fern is heudelotii), they got only informal names, as Ghazanfar's "small form".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I have something I bought a few years ago as Hymenophyllaceae sp. "Wayanad". It grows painfully slow, and I havent had it tied down to any wood, which may explain the slow growth? Nano fern from the wayanad district of kerala.

mine looks like this:


another picture that I believe vasteq took: http://www.flowgrow.de/resources/image/34265/Hymenophyllaceae sp. Wayanad 3.jpg

There is another aquatic nano fern kerala that Claus Christensen has photographed below as well, which looks more similar to yours.

https://plus.google.com/photos/+Cla...5733114291077148242&oid=109837052880254682778
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
Yes, here's Vasteq's thread: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...77-hymenophyllaceae-sp-wayanad-nano-fern.html
Claus' Crepidomanes cf. malabaricum (cf. indicates that its species identity is not yet certain) may be the same as Vasteq's plant or a similar species, it's from the same region (there are several similar Crepidomanes species in tropical Asia). On a fair in Germany that fern type was shown as Crepidomanes malabaricum on the stand of the company Dennerle.
It belongs to the fern family Hymenophyllaceae, not related to Bolbitis (now family Dryopteridaceae, formerly Lomariopsidaceae).

Occasionally some other Hymenophyllaceae pop up in the hobby called "Mini Bolbitis" or the like. Who knows if they are suited as aquarium plants in the long term; are there established ones?

Also Bolbitis heteroclita "difformis" is called Mini Bolbitis - at least it's really a Bolbitis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
That sounds exciting! I already guess that they all are local variants of the same species, Bolbitis heudelotii. Maybe the real variability of that species wasn't known in the hobby because B. heudelotii was collected for the water plant trade only in rather few localities in Africa; similar case as Microsorum pteropus in Asia (many years only bigger broad-leaved plants were known in the hobby).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Almost a year further, I grew pieces of both Bolbitis in high and low light areas of my tank. The differences are huge. I got 40 cm leaves from the one variety and the other is still in the 15cm range. But the large variety grows easier emersed. The small one always seems to 'burn' its leaves at room humidity.

I know which one I keep;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
Very good, now it's proven!
Again: have the leaves a rather horizontal to "weeping" growth, as Seattle_Aquarist describes Ghazanfar's "Small Form", compared to standard Bolbitis heudelotii?
As for the "real name":

- I still think it belongs to heudelotii, and no specific botanical name is available for this small one. To verify that, it may be necessary to grow it emersed under higher humidity till the typical emersed leaf shape or even fertile, spore-bearing leaves are developed, and to send it to a fern expert, e.g. Prof. Viane in Ghent. But perhaps fern specialists could ID also the submerged plant, from their experience.

- Maybe this form has already gotten an informal / commercial name somewhere. If it's identical to Ghazanfar's "Small form", we have already a name: just "Small form". But Vadim's info (he has about 10 different forms of the heudelotii type) suggests that it's only one out of a number of different heudelotii variants. As so often in such cases, it seems that there's no reference where those forms are precisely described, depicted and told apart, so an ID of the cultivated variants isn't possible without cultivating them all together.

- It would be fine to present your findings in an article. It's also a good way to nail down an informal name, such as "Small form".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here some 'final' pictures, I'll be throwing out the big one, the small one goes in my new tank. The picture below compares the biggest leaf from the small form and a medium sized leaf from the big one.




And last, an emersed leaf from the large form. The small form never worked for me, perhaps I'll try it later on in my paludarium!



About the growth pattern, They both grow all sides, a bit sphere shaped. But the large one seems to grow up a little more. But no way the small one is growing down.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top