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The Spiral water trumpet from southwestern India is an extremely polymorphic species. With 'Red' and 'Tiger', two new beautiful forms have entered the market few years ago. They are still rarely available in Europe. As submerged plant, Cryptocoryne spiralis 'Red' forms dark brown-red, strap-shaped leaves with smooth to curled margin. The midrib is mostly lively green and contrasts nicely with the brown-red rim with darker marbling. Under the same conditions, the leaves of the 'Red' have a narrower shape and get longer than those of Cryptocoryne spiralis 'Tiger' that often lacks the green midrib and has a more pronounced stripe pattern. Until now, the longest leaves of Cryptocoryne spiralis 'Red' have reached a length of about 34 cm, however the plant may get considerably taller with time.
It apppears that 'Red' is just as easy as several other forms of Cryptocoryne spiralis as aquarium plant. Medium lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate are very beneficial, as well as CO2 addition. In contrast to many other Cryptocoryne, the Spiral water trumpet is not a low-light plant. On the contrary, intense lighting enhances the striking colours of Cryptocoryne spiralis 'Red'. With time, daughter rosettes appear at the base of the main leaf rosette of the plant that forms a large tuft with strong root system. They can be cut off for propagation. We have not yet noticed long runners.
Cryptocoryne spiralis 'Red' surely comes out best as a solitary tuft with many leaves in the midground of not too small aquariums. It is an eyecatcher with its brown-red and green foliage and contrasts well with light green plants.