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Echinodorus subalatus is widespread in the wetlands of the tropical zone of Central and South America. There, it grows emersed or submerged depending on season and water level. This swordplant is cultivated for a long time but not well-known in aquaristics and also rather rarely available in trade. As aquarium plant, this swordplant gets quite tall. It has lanceolate, medium green leaves that are narrower and more translucent in the submerged form. The leaf stalks are relatively long.
This species is not particularly demanding and grows well with medium lighting, but as well as all Echinodorus it benefits much from a nutrient-rich bottom. Well-growing plants may tend to long-stalked emersed leaves, but after removing these leaves, shorter stalked submerged leaves will be developed again. When grown emersed, Echinodorus subalatus frequently forms its inflorescences with small white leaves and adventitious plantlets that can be used for propagation. It develops a creeping rhizome with time that can be splitted for propagation.
In contrast to the many, mostly red Echinodorus hybrid cultivars, this wild type has a rather modest, unobtrusive appearance, suitable for biotope aquaria but also large aquascapes. Echinodorus subalatus looks best as solitary plant or loose group in the midground to background. In open tanks with shallow water and bigger paludariums, it can also be used as half-emersed plant.
Please be aware that the submerse form of this plant could contain snails and other invertebrates.
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