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Hyptis lorentziana

Hyptis lorentziana

  • Striking stem plant from South America
  • Interesting leaf texture
  • Purple red coloration under strong lighting
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Although this unusual stem plant is not really new to the aquarium hobby, it is not very well known and only occasionally available in trade. It was introduced from Brazil as "Hemigraphis traian" or "Hemigraphis sp. from Manaus" and correctly identified in 2009. Hyptis lorentziana is widespread in South America, occurring i.a. in floodplains. In its terrestrial form it develops up to 2 m long stems with ball-shaped inflorescences in the leaf axils that attract many bees. It belongs to the family Lamiaceae, the mint family. It grows considerably slower under water than emersed. The leaves are strongly bullate, resembling the not closely related Hemigraphis species (Waffle plant). Especially under strong light the newest leaves are purplish red. Depending on the conditions, its growth is moderate to fast.

Hyptis lorentziana needs as aquarium plant much light, complete macro- and micronutrient supply (nitrate concentration at least 10 mg/l) and CO2 addition. It can be propagated by cuttings of the stem tips and side shoots.

This exotic looking South American plant looks best as a small group in the midground of well lit tanks. With its special leaf structure and coloration it provides a striking accent and contrasts well with light green plants. It grows very fast as emersed plant and can be used e.g. for large paludariums.

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