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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, All!

Hope your New Year is off to a good start - pearling plants, receding algae, etc. :wink:

I've had my two Eriocaulon cinereums for some months, now - I think I got them around August or september... They've been growing beautifully and the longest blades are a good 2.5". My problem is that they're putting out all of these flower stalks and they're NOT budding any new plants. And these dang flower stalks make the plant so unsightly - they don't bloom since they're under water, look like drum sticks (as in what you play drums with - not chicken legs), and they poke out way farther than the leaves. I wanted to be able to propagate this plant but I can't! What might the problem be? Could it have to do with the tank not being heated? Or should my photoperiod be shorter (now 12 hrs)?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, Andrew!

Yes, that was fishfry who posted the photos of separating the baby plants from the mother. He posted it here, too. He's managed to get dozens of baby plants from the seven or so that he started with, and I haven't been able to get one! And the "mother" plant in his photo is much smaller than either of mine. I must have duds. Or maybe they want to get settled into their careers before they start a family...

Anyway, it's funny that you should mention cutting the flower stalk - last time I did this, it wasted no time in growing three more stalks from the same plant! They haven't yet put out the stalks themselves, but they did put out those "funnel-shaped" leaves through which the stalk eventually pokes through. The other one has a stalk PLUS about three or four more funnel-shaped leaves. It's driving me crazy. I'd like to have them bloom, but I can't lower the water level quite that low because I have other plants in the tank.

Well, unless somebody can give me a sure-fire way of propagating these things, I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I may uproot them and trim the roots. I need to get rid of some of the older leaves that are yellowed and rotting.

Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe I'll try growing one in a jar so I can play around with the water level and get flowers to bloom. They're just such expensive buggers! Okay - thanks.

-Naomi
 

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Hey guys,

Mine are not really producing plants anymore and they have now adopted the growth form Naomi has with long thin leaves. Since I replanted my tank a lot have gone to flower as well. It actually looks pretty cool in my tank because there are about 9 of them blooming I have no idea why I got literally dozens of plants before and now I hardly get any, just flowers. I know some mild climate Eriocaulons are annual plants, but I have not verified that. On some of my plants with LOTS of flowers the leaves have started to die, but maybe the plant will come back or produce more new plantlets?? I wish I knew if the plant is going to die or not. I am considering putting some of my plants in a small aquarium with a low water level to see if I can get them to go to seed.
 

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mild climate Eriocaulons are annual plants
That occured to me too. I strongly suspect these plants are marginals, meaning shallow to emersed zone plants. If that is the case, they would be more used to propogating sexually, via flower and seed.

Terrestrial plant gardeners pinch out flowers, or deadhead, in order ot make the plant continue on. Possibly this will not work with aquatic plants.

Good to see you reappear, Naomi.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Yea, the rosette growing Eriocaulons are shallow water plants. Non-rosette Eriocaulons like E. setaceum produce the same type of pinhead flowers when they reach the water surface. Erioucaulon cinereum would be found growing in the mud of a rice pattie in the wild. I know in Asia it is not a problem if your Eriocaulon dies because most are cheap and easy to get, unfortunately not the case in the U.S.

If you can collect seeds do you just drop the seeds in water? I have never grown aquatic plants from seeds before, but I know people do with Elatine and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh! Almost forgot about this post. Sorry! Slipped my mind while the site was down for a few days.

pineapple said:
Good to see you reappear, Naomi.
Aw, thanks...

I've been checking in every once in a while, but 1) December is always a month of hell for me and 2) I was sort of frustrated and depressed about all of my tanks. Now my plan is to turn my 10-gallon into a low-light tank, and FINALLY, my T5 replacement bulb (for my 2.5-gallon tank) arrived and I've re-started my nano from scratch, which I'm slightly giddy about. Right now, three tiny pieces of dwarf lobelia are enjoying having the whole tank to themselves ;) . That should change, soon :D .

Well, thanks for the replies about the E. cinereum. This is a real bummer. I spent a lot of money for them, too. I have also noticed that since they started putting out flowers, they've really cut back on leaf production. I wonder if those flower stalks could grow long enough to break the surface...? That would be nice, and I could try to collect the seeds. Otherwise, I guess they're reaching the end of the road...

I think they grow in environments very similar to Elatine triandra and Elatine gussonei. Probably the only way to keep a population of it going indefinitely is to avoid creating conditions that mimic the time of year when they begin to produce seeds. Whatever these conditions may be :roll: ...

Okay, thanks again!

-Naomi
 

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Hi,

You're right about the flower buds. These plants grow along the banks in nature, and propagate via seeds. When it's submersed, I never notice any propagation this way. The single plant will just keep growing and growing. The submersed ones that I keep no longer shoot out any buds.

I've managed to grow out some babies from seeds that were given to me, but the seeds don't seem to germinate underwater. What I had to do was to place them in a shallow dish with some very moist substrate and have them under a good light source. Eventually, the young plantlets did grow out. Once they have enough leaves and roots, I could transfer them into the aquarium. This method requires lots of patience, and I feel that the other way (by slicing them with a razor) is a lot faster.
 

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Tell you what Naomi, send me one and if I an reproduce it, I will send you back 3 :)

Honestly, I wonder if this plant is an annual. Quite possible Fishfry's plants were in a state where they belived it was spring and time to reproduce, spending a lot of energy to enlarge the rhiozomes and such. Some enviromental change caused them to think that season had passed now they are just enjoying their long twilight years.

Victri, did the plants you raised from seed grow in this manner before changing to flower bearing specamines?

Just the latenight ramblings of a tired plant dork:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, Vic!

Thank you for chiming in with this neat information. Do you think that these seeds require a dry period of a few weeks or months? Also, would you think it possible to germinate the seeds in wet sand? I was thinking of doing this with Elatine triandra seeds but I forgot about them and they ended up getting crusted onto the bottom of the glass that I was keeping them in. I figure that if I germinate them in sand, I can just start filling the container with water when the plant is ready to be submersed. Soil is always going to be rather messy, I'd think.

Right now, one of my cinereums has SIX flower stalks and will probably grow some more, and my other one appears to have at least five of those funnel-shaped leaves making way for the flowers. I wonder how long those stalks will continue to grow before "giving up" on ever reaching the surface...? They look so funny, now. Maybe they're trying to receive radio signals from outer space ;) .

-Naomi
 

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Eriocaulon cinereum is an annual plant, at least in wild. Back in Taiwan(where E. cinereum is a native plant), you only find this species popular on market at summer time. It 'disappears' from market after the temperature drops.

It usually stops growing leaves after it starts to develop flowers, and the plant will die eventually after it loses all the leaves.

People usually cut off the flowers and give it more root ferts to keep the plant growing. I am not sure how well this method works though.

Max
 

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gnome said:
Hi, Vic!

Thank you for chiming in with this neat information. Do you think that these seeds require a dry period of a few weeks or months? Also, would you think it possible to germinate the seeds in wet sand? I was thinking of doing this with Elatine triandra seeds but I forgot about them and they ended up getting crusted onto the bottom of the glass that I was keeping them in. I figure that if I germinate them in sand, I can just start filling the container with water when the plant is ready to be submersed. Soil is always going to be rather messy, I'd think.

Right now, one of my cinereums has SIX flower stalks and will probably grow some more, and my other one appears to have at least five of those funnel-shaped leaves making way for the flowers. I wonder how long those stalks will continue to grow before "giving up" on ever reaching the surface...? They look so funny, now. Maybe they're trying to receive radio signals from outer space ;) .

-Naomi
The seeds I got were dry and were sent to me from a friend. I was told to "keep them damp, and under direct light for at least 6-8 hours a day". Some of them arrived pretty bashed up, but I did manage to germinate them. I tried a few variations. The best growth was from where I placed them in a tray with some emersed moss (used to retain water). I guess very wet substrate will do too. These seeds I have are supposed to be from some bigger eriocaulon sp, and they grow pretty slow.
 

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Hi there,

I am new here, and just got 2 Euriocaulons cinereum from singapore.
Here in Europe it is very rare, I think it might be even rarer here then it is in the US.

After reading this thread I think it is kind of a problem plant !!

My plan is to grow one submers and one emers.
Can anyone please tell me something about the required temperature while keeping it emers ??

Thanks,

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello, Robby. Welcome!

My two E. cinereum plants gradually disintegrated and I tossed them. I had them in an unheated tank and for about 5-6 months they grew beautifully (although they never "budded" at all the way fishfry's did). Then they started putting out flower stalks. When this began, the plants stopped growing new leaves. They each put out about a dozen flower stalks and when they couldn't reach the surface of the water, they started to disintegrate. After it was clear to me that the plants were never going to recover, I uprooted and disposed of them :cry: .

I enjoyed them while I had them. They're very neat-looking!

-Naomi
 

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Any more insite on this problem? My one Eriocaulon has produced maybe 20 flower stalks and buds and has stopped growing leaves. I wonder if there is any way to save it at this point?
 

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Funny you bring this up Dennis, I pulled mine up last month trying to figure out how to split it, looking for leaves going oposite ways, didnt notice any. Replanted it and this week I noticed the start of flowers, little grey buds on the top of leaves. I have had this plant for about 4 months and it hasnt split yet. Very well may be an annual plant, just going to seed now, or the fact that most peoples tank temps are up with this hot summer?
 

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Once you have several flower stalks it should be able to split a few different ways. Usually I dont' get all of the splits to survive, but some do and life goes on for the Eriocaulon. :)
 
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