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List of Culture Types

 

Echinodorus bleheri
 
Rataj (1970)

 

This plant is used in tanks for a long time, but it was first sold under Echinodorus paniculatus as a result of a wrong determination. Nevertheless this name will be used as comercial name even nowadays.  In 1970 Rataj recognized the false determination and discribed it as Echinodorus bleheri. Haynes and Holm-Nielsen criticised him, because he had only used  cultivated material, gotten from commercial importers. In her revision in 1994, Haynes and Holm-Nielsen didnt accept E. bleheri as an own species because Rataj used as herbarium material unfertile taxons without flowers. They classified it to Echinodorus grisebachii. To this species should belong even E. amazonicus and E. parviflorus. I believe, and Im not alone in my opinion, that there are enough differencies beween these taxons to recognice varieties.
Unable to reconstruct the first importation, the origin of this plant is unknown. Probably it is in the amazon basin, like E. amazonicus.

Echinodorus bleheri grows as rosettes with short erect rhizomes. Submersed plants can grow up to 20/25 inches. The petioles are more or less long. The pale-green blades are linear-lanceolate, up to 12 inches long and 4 inches wide, acute at the basis and the apex. Getting good growing conditions, inflorescences will appear. They can grow up to 4 feet and can have 4 to 12 whorls. At the first and even at the second whorl an branch can appear, having some whorls too. I never could notice flowering plants. This taxon should be triploid, explaining the absence of flowers and seeds. Some aquarists claimed to have seen flowers of E. bleheri. Either they have a diploid taxon of E. bleheri or they made a false determination of the flowering plant. At the whorls you can find adventitious plantlets. If they are submerged roots are appearing. You can separate the plantlets after they are strong enough. Sometimes you can find small plants at the rhizome. You can separate them too.

Growing very large, Echinodorus bleheri is suitable as solitary plant in large tanks. As all sword plants E. bleheri needs an enriched substrate and a lot of light, but although growing in medium light. Temperatures between 22 and 28 C are best suited. For a short time temperatures of about 10 C can be survived, but also 33 C are possible for a short time. Under normal aquarium conditions the plant is remaining submerged. This feature is good for aquatic culture and the plant can be rated as very recommendable for aquaristic use.

Withholding water from the plants could be sustained. The picture shows emersed plants in a nursery. Emersed plants grow faster than submersed plants and the inflorescences appear rather often. This is used by commercial propagation. 

 

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