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This unique, rarely cultivated Rotala is also known as "Ammania sp. from Sulawesi". It is apparently a form of Rotala ramosior, an annual species from wetlands of North to South America that is also naturalized in Asia. In submerged culture, "Sunset" develops straight, hardly ramified stems under water. Under favorable conditions, its elongate leaves are strikingly red-brown with slightly violet tones. In contrast to that, the midrib and leaf base is light green, also the stem is green.
Except "Sunset", there are some further R. ramosior forms in the aquarium hobby such as "Florida" and a larger, green form from Virginia. "Florida" differs from "Sunset" by light purple colouration and somewhat smaller leaves with broader shape. "Sunset" grows a little faster than "Florida", and its leaves are more upright at the stem tips and more arching further below.
Rotala ramosior "Sunset" has a moderate growth rate under aquarium conditions. It is a demanding, light-loving plant; constant CO2 and macro- and micronutrient supply are recommended. Also fertilisation via the substrate is helpful. Especially young plantlets from tissue culture should only be planted in already cycled, well-running aquariums. As well as other stem plants, this Rotala can be propagated by cuttings. However this has to be done carefully. Rotala ramosior "Sunset" does not well tolerate hard cutting, and its propagation rate is rather low. When the remaining stumps of the stems are too short, they often rather die instead of developing side shoots. It is best to let the plants grow untouched for some time, then terminal cuttings can be made further up. When the stumps are vital enough, they will grow some side shoots that can be used for propagation again. In this way, by selective, careful trimming and replanting of cuttings, a group of the plant can be grown.
With its straight growth habit and contrast between purplish brown-red leaves and green stems, Rotala ramosior "Sunset" is a special gem in the aquarium. It looks best as a solitary group in the midground.
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