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This vey distinctive, small-growing swordplant cultivar was described in 1985 under the name Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica' in the German journal Aqua Planta. It was found in the 1980s in the nursery Tropica, Denmark, among plants of Echinodorus grisebachii 'Parviflorus' (called E. parviflorus back then) that were delivered from water plant nurseries in Asia. It probably arose through mutation in one of these nurseries.
Under aquarium conditions, Echinodorus grisebachii 'Tropica' gets a height of just 5 to 10 centimeters, and with its leaf shape it resembles Samolus valerandi, therefore its trivial name "Samolus swordplant". The underwater leaves are coarse, medium to dark green, a little bullate and narrowly obovate. They are rounded towards the end, with an apiculate tip. The plant develops a compact, spreading rosette of many leaves with time.
The cultivar 'Tropica' not only remains much lower than other Echinodorus grisebachii forms such as 'Parviflorus' and 'Amazonicus' but also grows much slower. It also needs more light than these. For a healthy growth, good nutrient supply, also through the substrate, and CO2 addition are recommendable. The favourable temperatures are about 22-28 °C. The plant is mostly delivered in its emersed (terrestrial) form that grows considerably faster than under water. Planted into the aquarium, it will develop its shorter submerged foliage while the old emersed leaves gradually decay and can be removed then.
With its small size, Echinodorus grisebachii 'Tropica' is an excellent solitary plant in nano aquariums and contrasts with finely textured plants. In larger tanks it fits well into the foreground and looks nice as a loose group of few plants.
In 3 weeks it doesnt seem like this plant has not grown at all. It is a quite small Amazon sword. Beautiful plant, and looks exactly like in the images. (read more)
In 3 weeks it doesnt seem like this plant has not grown at all. It is a quite small Amazon sword. Beautiful plant, and looks exactly like in the images.