Acmella repens

Oppositeleaf spotflower

Acmella repens

Oppositeleaf spotflower

  • Little known rarity
  • Medium green with red-brown tones
  • Moderate growth rate
  • Also interesting for paludariums and wabi-kusa
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Description

Acmella repens, the Oppositeleaf spotflower, is a little known, rare stem plant. It occurs as a swamp plant in the warmer parts of the Americas from the southern USA to Paraguay in several wet places and is able to grow submerged. Aquarists collected it in Texas years ago and discovered its suitability as aquarium plant. Since around 2012 it is also known in Europe. Acmella repens belongs to the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and is closely related with the Pará cress or Jambú (Acmella oleracea). It resembles Gymnocoronis spilanthoides except that it is considerably smaller. In its suberged form it grows strictly upright with quite long internodes and opposite, egg-shaped, medium green leaves. Strong lighting causes red-brown coloration of the stems, petioles and leaf midribs. When it is allowed to grow out of the water, one may expect its nice little yellow inflorescences that resemble tiny sunflowers.

Submers

This plant is not very demanding but benefits much from a good micro- and macronutrient and CO2 supply. Moderate lighting is sufficient while strong lighting enhances the red-brown tones of the otherwise green plant. Temperatures between about 16 and 29 °C are favourable. Acmella repens is best planted in a group of stems with a bit of space to each other. It is propagated by cuttings as well as other stem plants. Once it happened for us that its leaves were eaten by Amano shrimps (Caridina multidentata), so care must be taken when it is planted in an aquarium with many Amano shrimps.

With its upright, symmetrical habit, the Oppositeleaf Spotflower is well suited for "plant streets" in Dutch style aquariums. It looks like a miniature version of Gymnocoronis spilanthoides and is easier to handle than this huge stem plant. In its emersed form, this plant from the subtropical to tropical America also appears interesting for paludariums and Wabi-Kusa.

Acmella repens is a plant from the Asteraceae family growing in the southeast of the USA, from Texas to North Carolina, as well as in Central and South America, from Mexico to Paraguaygeneralreferences#1. This relatively small plant with its yellow flowers occurs in disturbed, wet or drying-out locationsgeneralreferences#2. It belongs to the same genus as the medical/spice plant paracress or jambú (Acmella oleracea).

Only a short time ago, aquaristis from the USA have discovered that Acmella repens, which they collected in Texas, can be cultivated submersed. Outside the USA it is hardly known as aquarium plant yet.

- To be continued -

Synonyms Anthemis repens Walter, Acmella oppositifolia var. repens (Walter) R. K. Jansen, Spilanthes americana var. repens (Walter) A. H. Moore
Complete botanical name Acmélla répens (Walter) Rich. ex Pers.
Family Asteraceae
Genus Acmella
Difficulty medium
Usage Background, Midground
Width 4 - 5cm
Growth medium
Temperature tolerance 18 - 30°C
General hardness 0 - 30°dGH
Propagation Cuttings
Can grow emersed? yes
Source Flowgrow
Synonyms
Anthemis repens Walter, Acmella oppositifolia var. repens (Walter) R. K. Jansen, Spilanthes americana var. repens (Walter) A. H. Moore
Complete botanical name
Acmélla répens (Walter) Rich. ex Pers.
Family
Asteraceae
Genus
Acmella
Difficulty
medium
Usage
Background, Midground
Width
4 - 5cm
Growth
medium
Temperature tolerance
18 - 30°C
General hardness
0 - 30°dGH
Propagation
Cuttings
Can grow emersed?
yes
Source
Flowgrow

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