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Diodia cf. kuntzei

Diodia cf. kuntzei

  • New stem plant from the Pantanal area
  • Upright growth
  • Leaves reddish under strong lighting
  • Moderate growth rate
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This plant became known in the aquarium hobby under the name Hygrophila sp. "Pantanal" and was likely offered in Japan first. In Europe it is still a little known rarity. This stem plant has nothing to do with Hygrophila but belongs to the genus Diodia in the Rubiaceae family, thus it is a relative of woodruff and coffee tree. It is likely the south American species Diodia kuntzei, however its reliable determination is still pending (therefore the "cf." in the name). The Diodia species are terrestrial and swamp plant that also grow temporally submerged in their natural habitats. Diodia cf. kuntzei has straight, thin but strong stems; the lanceolate, opposite leaves are curved downwards and show a nice reddish colouration under strong lighting.

Diodia cf. kuntzei is not too difficult to grow, however we recommend rather strong lighting, a good CO2 (20-30 mg/l) and nutrient supply and rather soft water. Also a nutrient-rich substrate such as Aquasoil is beneficial. However this plant only develops very fine, rather few roots and anchors weakly in the substrate. Especially older stems are prone to uprooting; subsequent replanting of the stem tips is necessary. Put single stems with a little space to each other into the substrate. This Diodia is propagated by stem cuttings. Its growth rate is moderate, and it ramifies only sparsely. It is easier to grow emersed on moist to wet bottom, however its emersed leaves are medium green without reddish tones.

This stem plant is relatively large, as the shoots may get about 10 cm wide, however with its narrow leaves and thin stems it has a quite delicate texture. It looks well as an up to about 20 cm high group in the midground and should also be suitable for planting a "plant street" in Dutch style tanks. As a plant from the Pantanal wetland in South America, it is also interesting for biotope aquariums and paludariums with plants and fishes from that region.

Please be aware that the submerse form of this plant could contain snails and other invertebrates.

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