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Rhaphidophora beccarii

Rhaphidophora beccarii

  • Small climbing plant from Southeast Asia
  • Rarely cultivated
  • Medium green leaves
  • Low light demand
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Until now, Rhaphidophora beccarii is hardly known as aquarium plant. This aroid is widespread in the rainforest areas of Southeast Asia. It occurs as a rheophyte (adapted to strong current) on rock along fast flowing streams and rivers. In contrast, other Rhaphidophora species mostly grow as climbers on trees in tropical rainforests, comparable to the Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum). Rhaphidophora beccarii displays an astonishing difference between juvenile and mature plants. Juvenile shoots are long, thin and small-leaved, creeping and climbing on rocks in the flood zone. The mature plant is much larger, bushy, with long, slotted leaves and compact rhizomes. It develops flowers and fruits not before reaching the mature stage.
This plant can be grown permanently submerged in aquariums, with its shoots remaining in the juvenile form and growing very slowly. Its coarse, medium green submerged leaves have up to about 3 cm long blades and 4 mm long petioles. When R. beccarii is grown above water, it develops increasingly longer leaves, eventually transforming into the mature stage.

Rhaphidophora beccarii requires little light as aquarium plant. It is not very demanding, however it looks best with good nutrient and CO2 supply. The shoots are best fixed to the ground where their roots can grow into the substrate. One can try to grow it as a climber on rock or wood, however it is not yet clear to what extend it attaches itself by its roots under water, as it is the case in emersed culture. This aroid is easily propagated by cuttings of the shoots.

This unusual plant looks well in jungle-like layouts with driftwood, mosses, ferns and other epiphytes, and it is suitable for low light aquariums. It is also interesting for paludariums and aqua-terrariums that imitate rainforest streambanks.

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

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