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Heteranthera dubia

Water stargrass

Heteranthera dubia

Water stargrass

  • Also known as Zosterella dubia
  • Undemanding
  • Very fast growing
  • Grass-like, light green leaves
  • Yellow, star-shaped flowers
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Description

The Water stargrass is a relative of Heteranthera zosterifolia but far less known in the aquarium hobby. Heteranthera dubia, also known as Zosterella dubia, is a very easy but rarely available aquarium plant. This aquatic plant occurs from eastern North America to Central America in standing and flowing waters. Its long stems grow loosely upright with many branches. The ribbon-shaped, soft, light to pale green submerged leaves are about 5-12 cm long and 4 mm wide. When the plant is not trimmed, it forms a flooding thicket on the water surface. Then one can expext its nice yellow flowers with six narrow tepals. When in bloom, the flooding swathes look as if they are scattered with small yellow stars.

Heteranthera dubia is a very easy plant that also grows very fast. It tolerates soft water and also grows very well with high KH, with pH values from 5 to 9. CO2 addition is not necessary but enhances its already fast growth. The Water stargrass is suitable for cold as well as warm water tanks; the optimum temperatures lie between 15 and 27 °C. As well as other stem plants, it is easily propagated by cuttings.

This stem plant has a grass-like, modest appearance. It resembles narrow-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton) species or flooding grasses. Flooding swathes of Heteranthera dubia provide shelter for fish. It is a versatile plant, useful e.g. for biotope aquaria and breeding tanks. In open tanks and in the water part of paludariums, its yellow, star-shaped flowers are beautiful to look at.

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

Heteranthera dubia, or water stargrass, is distributed from the southeast of the USA to Central America, in smaller stagnant to flowing waterbodies. There it forms sumbersed populations or floats on the water surface. Floating shoots form yellow flowers with six narrow bracts, which gave this grasslike plant its vernacular name. It is quite undemanding and a fast grower, and has long been known in aquaristics, also under its synonym Zosterella dubia. For a time it had almost disappeared from the hobby, however, in the meantime it is available in trade sometimes, or from other hobbyists.

H. dubia may be a plant that preferrably grows submersed, however, emersed cultivation is also possible. Then it stays smaller and more compact. It is quite similar to its relative, Heteranthera zosterifolia, but grows a bit larger, has longer internodes, and its flowers are yellow instead of blue. (read more)

Common names Water stargrass, Grassleaf Mud-plantain
Synonyms Commelina dubia Jacq., Zosterella dubia (Jacq.) Small
Complete botanical name Heteranthéra dúbia (Jacq.) MacMill.
Family Pontederiaceae
Genus Heteranthera
Difficulty very easy
Colour light green
Height 30 - 100cm
Width 10 - 20cm
Growth very fast
pH value 5 - 9
Temperature tolerance 5 - 30°C
Carbonate hardness 3 - 30°dKH
Propagation Cuttings
Can grow emersed? yes
Source Flowgrow
Common names
Water stargrass, Grassleaf Mud-plantain
Synonyms
Commelina dubia Jacq., Zosterella dubia (Jacq.) Small
Complete botanical name
Heteranthéra dúbia (Jacq.) MacMill.
Family
Pontederiaceae
Genus
Heteranthera
Difficulty
very easy
Colour
light green
Height
30 - 100cm
Width
10 - 20cm
Growth
very fast
pH value
5 - 9
Temperature tolerance
5 - 30°C
Carbonate hardness
3 - 30°dKH
Propagation
Cuttings
Can grow emersed?
yes
Source
Flowgrow

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