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Echinodorus (Amazon Sword)


  1. No Title
    by David Randall <> (23 Jul 95)
  2. propagating swords
    by (Paul Krombholz) (Tue, 1 Aug 1995)
  3. Moving an Amazon Sword
    by (Wed, 23 Aug 9)
  4. Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #250
    by (Karen A Randall) (Fri, 18 Aug 1995)
  5. Advice re Amazon Swds worked
    by Earle Hamilton <> (Mon, 9 Oct 1995)
  6. Echinodorus 'Rubin'
    by (Karen A Randall) (Wed, 8 Nov 1995)
  7. Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #116
    by krombhol-at-felix.TECLink.Net (Paul Krombholz) (Mon, 3 Jun 1996)
  8. H. difformis, E. Osiris & plants for high pH
    by (Paul Krombholz) (Thu, 21 Nov 1996)
  9. Echinodorus and Stem Plants
    by Neil Frank <> (Sat, 05 Apr 1997)
  10. Echinodorus, Osmokote and Stem Plants
    by (Fri, 04 Apr 1997)
  11. Echinodorus "Ozelot"
    by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/> (Thu, 8 Jan 1998)
  12. New Sword Cultivars
    by krandall/ (Thu, 08 Jan 1998)
  13. Echinodorus classification
    by "Bruce Hansen" <bhansen/> (Tue, 24 Feb 1998)
  14. know the parental line?
    by Neil Frank <nfrank/> (Wed, 29 Apr 1998)
  15. Flowering Echinodorus osirus
    by krandall/ (Wed, 14 Oct 1998)
  16. Echinodorus offsets
    by krandall/ (Thu, 11 Feb 1999)
  17. Emerse grown Echinodorus
    by krandall/ (Wed, 27 Jan 1999)
  18. Deformed Echinodorus bleheri?
    by Neil Frank <nfrank/> (Mon, 22 Feb 1999)
  19. "Alysoun McLaughlin"s Emersed growth of Ozelot
    by boukmn/ (Thu, 10 Jun 1999)
  20. Flowering Echinodorus 'Ozelot'
    by "The Stover Family" <takatori/> (Mon, 28 Jun 1999)
  21. Flowering Echinodorus 'Ozelot'
    by "Ken Guin" <kenguin/> (Mon, 28 Jun 1999)
  22. Ozelot
    by Christopher Ferrell <csferrel/> (Tue, 29 Jun 1999)
  23. Red Sword Recommendations
    by Neil Frank <nfrank/> (Wed, 10 May 2000)
  24. Red Sword recommendations
    by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz) (Wed, 10 May 2000)
  25. Red Sword Recommendations
    by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz) (Thu, 11 May 2000)
  26. Echinodorus 'compacta'
    by "Tom Wood" <tomwood2/> (Mon, 28 Jan 2002)
  27. Growing E. cordifolius
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Sat, 07 Apr 2001)
  28. Flowering echinodorus
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Sun, 08 Apr 2001)
  29. red flames
    by "Robert H" <robertpaulh/> (Tue, 1 May 2001)
  30. mechanism for rooting of Echinodorus
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Wed, 9 May 2001)
  31. Hybrids (was E. cordifolius)
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Tue, 26 Sep 2000)
  32. Echinodorus Ozelot
    by "Jamie Johnson" <jjohnson/> (Wed, 13 Sep 2000)
  33. Echinodorus compacta
    by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz) (Sun, 3 Feb 2002)

typical amazon sword

Echinodorus "ozelot"

photos by Erik Olson

E. osiris(?)

video still by Steve Pushak

E. tenellus

E. tenellus flower

(No Title)

by David Randall <>
Date: 23 Jul 95

Subject: Echinodorus flowers


 >>  Also, anyone ever see an echonidorus flower?  I think mine is about to--I
have a bud hanging on a stem 3" out of the water for two days now... I think
it's a bud which is about to bloom--it's not a baby plant--those look
distinctly different--I have another branch with one of those right now...and
as far as that's concerned, when a baby plant grows on the end of a
stem--should you cut it off when it reaches an appropriate size AT the
internode it has grown from to allow the other internodes to grow into baby
 Will the other internodes grow leaves or not I guess is the real question I'm
asking here.<<

 Many Echinodorus sp. flower quite readily in the aquarium. Mine do it
frequently.  Many produce both plantlets and flowers on the same flower scape.
To some extent it depends on whether the flower scape can get above the water
or not. Below the water, plantlets develop, above the water, flowers are more

 I remove and plant my plantlets when they have reached about 3" inches in
size and have at least a few good roots on them.  No one has told me one way
or the other, but I have assumed that as with terrestrial plants, you will get
better, bigger plantlets if you limit their number.  So I usually pinch off at
least half of the babies as they appear, so that no scape has more than about
6 plantlets on it.

propagating swords

by (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995

>Hi all, I have a question regarding the reproduction of plants.  What is the
>correct way to cut the plant and have them reproduce lets say for e.g.
>swords.  I really don't feel like killing my plants and in interested in any
>correct proceedures that should be induced.
>Thankyou Mr. Scott.
>(not the one on star trek)

Many species of swords produce plantlets when they send up a flower stalk.
The plantlets can be removed  and planted when they have several roots.  If
you can't get your sword to bloom, try changing the daylength.  Try a short
day, long night regimen, if you have been keeping it on a long day, short
night.  A short day would be about 8 hours, and a long day would be 14 to
16 hours.  If you can't get it to bloom, or if the flower stalk never
produces plantlets, then you can try digging it up, and cutting its rizome
into segments. For this to work, you need an old, well-established plant
that has had a year or two to develop a long rhizome.   Float these
segments until you see plantlets growing from them, then plant them.  You
can also try fertilizing flowers and collecting seeds.   I've never tried
growing seeds, but the books on aquatic plants say that the seeds of most
swords germinate readily and are not too difficult to grow.

Paul Krombholz

Moving an Amazon Sword

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 9

> From: (Darin Swanson)
> I would appretiate any advice on proper procedure for moving,
> pruning and splitting (?) of this plant.

Pruning: remove the outside leaves from this or other rosette plants
when they get too big or start to have algae by pinching or snipping
them close to the base. Any remaining stalk will begin to decay after
a time and may get algae. You can pull this off when it gets soft as
part of regular maintenance.

Transplanting: remove about half the length of the roots leaving only
enough to hold it securely in place. Using your finger press a hole 
in the substrate and insert the roots as deep as you can into this hole.
With a clay or fine substrate additive, this needs to be done with a
minimum of disturbance to avoid stirring it up. I hold the roots 
between two fingers and thumb and poke my finger tips into the soil.
After back filling, gently pull the plant up until the crown of the
roots is just at or slightly above the level of the gravel. If you left
enough roots, it stays there; if too much, the over long roots tend to
poke out.

Propagating: healthy plants frequently send out a "runner" or stalk
with a tiny plantlet growing at nodes along its length. Sometimes this 
floats toward the surface. You can either root this as attached or 
wait til the plant is large enough (about 10 leaves), detach and 
plant as before.

 - Steve

Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #250

by (Karen A Randall)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995

In my experience, what is more important for the growth of Echinodorus sp. 
is a good rich substrate and adequate trace element supplies.  Remember that 
in the wild, Echinodorus are only submerged part of the time. (some never 
are totally submerged)  For this reason, they have developed in a way that 
they are dependent to a large extent on root feeding.  If it is suitably 
enriched, you may be able to grow them directly in the substrate of your 
tank.  If you have throuble growing them that way, I find that they do best 
in my tanks potted up with potting soil and either laterite or micronized 
iron.  Sometimes I add an aquatic plant food tablet as well.

Occassionally I come across someone who grows good swords without the use of 
a trace element supplement, usually people with soft water and a lot of iron 
in their tap water, but most people find it necessary to add at least an 
iron supplement, if not a balanced trace element supplement.

Advice re Amazon Swds worked

by Earle Hamilton <>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995

I wanted to acknowledge and thank whoever it was that said Amazon 
Swordsplants can be made to send out runners by changing the photoperiod.
I had a huge specimen for 3 years but it never sent out a runner.  Moved 
it to another tank where the photo period was about 2 hours per day 
longer although the intensity of light was about 1/4 as much.  The plant 
not only did well but in about 2 weeks it sent out runners that gave me a 
total of 26 young plants.  Then nothing for almost a year.  I moved it 
back to the original tank with more light and two hours less photo 
period.  After 3 weeks it has sent out its first runner.
When posting a question or answer you should all be aware that there are 
lots more people out there that don't get involved but benefit from the 
discussion.  I just wanted to say thanks for advice I never read in a book.

Echinodorus 'Rubin'

by (Karen A Randall)
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995

Subject: Echinodorus Rubin

Steven Hicks writes:
> I just purchased a couple of larger echinodorus (a paniculatus a
> osirus which Mike at Delaware Aquatics calls a 'red rubins') and
> rearrange my tank a bit. <snip>

> Also, how deep a substrate do I need for ~15" echinodorus?  My g
> is 3", which is working fine for the small/medium plants I have.
> 'aquascape' a bit to get deeper substate in the back of the tank
> two new swordplants?

I keep the substrate in the back of my big tanks about 6" deep for 
the bigger plants.  BTW, With good care, your 'Rubin' will get a 
good bit more than 15"  Mine is about 24".  Still, it's similar to 
a horemanii in looks (even prettier, I think) and not nearly as 
big as that one gets!<g>

BTW, the 'Rubin' is _not_ a  martii x osirus.  It was developed by 
the Hans Barth nursery in Dessau, Germany.  It is the result of an 
F2 hybridization between E. barthii and E. horemanii 'Rot'(red).  
It resembles its horemanii parent strongly, although fortunately 
it is not quite as large.  I love the "stained glass" look of the 
translucent red tissue between the green veins.

Another alternative which I frequently use for swords in my tanks 
it to put them in pots.  That way, I can renew the substrate as 
needed for these large, fast growing plants without disturbing the 
entire tank.  

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA

Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #116

by krombhol-at-felix.TECLink.Net (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1996

>Douglas Duncan <> wrote Monday, June 3:

>Subject: Radican Marble Queen
>I just purchased a couple of Radican Marble Queen plants that were extremely
>healthy looking when I brought them home, but now the leaves are thinning,
>fading and perforating with holes. All the other plants in my tanks are doing
>great, so what might be the cause for the Marble Queens burning out? I know I
>usually have a low level of nitrates, but none of the other plants seem to
>suffer. Is there a chance that this is just the result of shock from being
>placed in different water and chemistry than they were raised in? I don't want
>to mess with my tank's chemistry too much because every time I do I end up
>causing crypt melt on my prize centerpiece cryptocorne.
>Are Radican's really difficult to keep? Should I maybe pot it in a special
>mix so it has a more desirable substrate?
Probably Karen Randall is going to say about the same thing and say it
better, but it occurs to me that E. radicans grows well emersed (It can
also be grown well submersed.), and your plants were very likely grown
emersed.  The damage to your leaves may be the result of formerly emersed
leaves now being submersed.  I wouldn't mess with the chemistry yet, but
would wait to see how the new, underwater growth looks and how well those
newly formed leaves do. In the mean time give it plenty of light and CO2.

Good luck!

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In cool, pleasant, Mississippi where we finally got some rain!

H. difformis, E. Osiris & plants for high pH

by (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996

>Subjects: Hygrophilla Difformis creeping along bottom & E. Osoris not

Given good light and some room, H. difformis becomes invasive and sends
prostrate stems in all directions.  It will grow up in poorer light or when
crowded by other plants.  E. osiris will not send out runners, but should
produce a flower stem if it is on a long day (more than 12 hours light).
Young plants will develop along the nodes of the flower stem.

Echinodorus and Stem Plants

by Neil Frank <>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 1997

>Date: Fri, 04 Apr 1997 11:02:32 -0500
>Subject: Echinodorus, Osmokote and Stem Plants
>Subject: Echinodorus
>>   I was going through my swords yesterday (seperating daughter plants 
>>and re-planting.)  At any rate, all of the older, established swords had 
>>a thick 'woody' mass at their bases, about the size and shape of a 
>>peanut.  Could they be storing nutrients, or is this something else?
>>(In that vein, do swords ever go dormant like Aponogeton?)
>These do seem to be a nutrient storage organ.  I don't know if they ever go
>_completely_  dormant like Aponos, but they certainly sometimes start to
>die back, and it has been found that if you uproot them, snap out this
>woody "corm", they will start putting out leaves again with renewed vigor.

Conversely, if you remove the plant and leave the woody part attached to the
substrate, one or more new sword plants will emerge from it.  This can also
occur if you cut off it off and leave it in the aquarium -- it may also
sprout new plants ( if it is big enough). This is the way I have been
reproducing Echinodorus horemanii. This woody thing is called the rhizome
(often called a corm when it is small). For the hoemanii, the rhizome is
very dense and will stay on the bottom. In other Echinodorus species it may
float (Rataj/Horeman book says this true for E. maior and E. osiris. Any one
have this experience?) 

Rhizomes store food for the plant, and can store a lot. My horemanii has
very large rhizome(s) attached. Consequently, it has been thriving for years
and years, has put out dozens of new plants and appears to grow continuosly
despite a lot of neglect and long periods with little amounts of N and P. 
Can a botanist (or any one else) elaborate further on rhizomes?

Echinodorus, Osmokote and Stem Plants

Date: Fri, 04 Apr 1997

Subject: Echinodorus

>   I was going through my swords yesterday (seperating daughter plants 
>and re-planting.)  At any rate, all of the older, established swords had 
>a thick 'woody' mass at their bases, about the size and shape of a 
>peanut.  Could they be storing nutrients, or is this something else?
>(In that vein, do swords ever go dormant like Aponogeton?)

These do seem to be a nutrient storage organ.  I don't know if they ever go
_completely_  dormant like Aponos, but they certainly sometimes start to
die back, and it has been found that if you uproot them, snap out this
woody "corm", they will start putting out leaves again with renewed vigor.

Echinodorus "Ozelot"

by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998

> From: "Brad Grenard" <brgrenard-at-SMLY-01.HFS.PURDUE.EDU>
> Subject: Name that plant
Brad wrote:
> The LFS has a plant for sale that is labeled "Ozelot Sword".  It 
> strongly resembles an Amazon Sword but it has some redish veins in 
> the stems and leaves.  It is about 5 -6 inces tall.  The staff at the 
> LFS doesn't know the species name.  Anyone care to guess?  It's a 
> really beautiful plant and I'm tempted to buy one, but at $14.99 
> each, I'd like to know more about it first.  Thanks for any help.

This is a gorgeous addition to anyone's collection -- a cultivar from South
America.  It takes 15-30 degrees C; grows 15-25 cm tall and about the same
width.  It likes bright light but will grow slower with moderate lighting. 
It does respond to "laterite" and "Jobes" sticks every two months in water
that has a higher than average calcium level (like E. Bleheri). Mine grow
reddish with a beautiful spotted pattern of a maroon color.  It is worth
the $14.99 as it took a good while to grow to that size -- even in Florida
(probably from where your supplier got it). (Most of the requirements came
from Tropica in Denmark who had the plant first or got it first from people
in the Far East that have been cloning unusual "sports".  Tropica now does
their own tissue culture work.)  Don't use any other fertilization if you
have fish in the aquarium other than an iron and manganese additive or else
it will not grow!

Good luck!


New Sword Cultivars

by krandall/
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998

>The LFS has a plant for sale that is labeled "Ozelot Sword".  It 
>strongly resembles an Amazon Sword but it has some redish veins in 
>the stems and leaves.  It is about 5 -6 inces tall.  The staff at the 
>LFS doesn't know the species name.  Anyone care to guess?  It's a 
>really beautiful plant and I'm tempted to buy one, but at $14.99 
>each, I'd like to know more about it first.  Thanks for any help.

This is a man made cultivar, correctly labeled as Echinodorus 'Ozelot'.  

Here's what the Tropica web page says about it:

>Echinodorus 'Ozelot' is a hybrid between Echinodorus schlueteri 'Leopard'
and Echinodorus barthii created by Barth in Dessau in the former East
Germany. It is beautiful with elliptical black spotted red-brownish leaves
and a very short petiole. The black spots has, of course, inspired the name
'Ozelot'. In contrast to many other spotted and flecked plants Echinodorus
'Ozelot' maintains the spots regardless of light intensity and other
environmental factors. Older leaves, however, tends to have dark-red spots
rather than deep black as in the younger leaves. Echinodorus 'Ozelot' is a
sturdy plant and accepts most environmental conditions. If the conditions
are sub optimal the plant just grow more slowly and a bit smaller. 

My personal experience echos what is said at the Tropica site except that I
wouldn't call the spots on even the new leaves black.  On my plant, they
are a dark maroon, and eventually turn wine red.  I love mine.  It is a
beautiful plant and has been trouble free.  Mine was a 3" plantlet when I
got it, and is less than a year old.  I am hoping that in the coming season
it will bloom and produce babies for me.  I have propagated E. schlueteri
'Leopard' several times. I am hopeful that it's 'Ozelot' ofspring will be
as obliging, because I'd love to have several, and you are right... they
are pricey!

I must say, though, that the first time I saw the plant offered for sale in
this country (via Florida Aquatic Nursery) was last spring, and the price
was quite a bit higher.  If I'm not mistaken, it was over $20 for a well
grown plant.

Another lovely new cultivar to keep your eye out for is E. 'Oriental'.
This big beauty has new leaves that start out as a pale but rosey pink that
turn green with age.  I got this one as an adult, last spring, and it
already favored me with a crop of handsome babies this summer.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Echinodorus classification

by "Bruce Hansen" <bhansen/>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998

I have a copy of Flora Neotropica's Monograph 64 on "The Alismataceae" by
Haynes and Holm-Nielsen that was issued  in 1994. I'm not aware of any
others except Rataj's earlier coverage. 

I am not able to say whether this more recent paper is more authoritative
or not - but in some ways it was helpful for me and in others it was very


Bruce Hansen, ANGFA, caring for our aquatic ecosystems.

know the parental line?

by Neil Frank <nfrank/>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998

>S.K.Unnikrishnan <> wrote:
>> I want to know the parental plants of the following varities.
>> Echinodorus sp var 'rose'
>> E . sp var 'apart'
>> E . sp var  'ozelot'

Echinodorus 'Ozelot' is a hybrid between Echinodorus schlueteri 'Leopard'
and Echinodorus barthii created by Barth in Dessau in the former East Germany.

Echinodorus X 'Rosé' is a hybrid between E. horizontalis and E. horemanii
"Red" and was first produced by Barth.

Neil Frank,
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Flowering Echinodorus osirus

by krandall/
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998

"Darren R. Gold" wrote:

>I have 7 E. osiris plants growing, and two have decided to simultaneously
>send up flower stalks.  They extend about 6 inches above the surface and are
>just beginning to bloom.  Should I allow them to continue and let nature
>take it's course or should I submerge them and hope they produce plantlets?

If you submerge it, you'll probably get plantlets.  If you leave it
emersed, you'll probably get flowers _and_ plantlets.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Echinodorus offsets

by krandall/
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999

>Subject: Echinodorus observaton
>I've been propagating this large Echinodorus sp. identified as a hybrid
>by Karen, that resembles E. martii, for several years.  Recently one of
>the younger, but rather large plants, put up a flower stalk that hit the
>lights and wilted at the growth tip.  It was doing no harm so I left it
>there and noticed that the stalk was getting thicker than usual but
>other than that all seemed normal.  Some time latter I noticed that the
>oldest, largest leaves looked like they were being rasped by the
>Bristlenose, again nothing unusual, the plant gets too big anyway and
>this is a good way of controlling it's growth.  Yesterday I noticed
>these very same leaves all floating at the surface, they had rotted off
>at the bottom, now this is unusual.  When I pruned away the surrounding
>plants so I could get a good look at what was going on, to my surprise I
>found several plantlets growing attached to the base of the original
>plant, just as they normally do on the flower stalk.  Has anyone
>observed this behavior, or have an idea as to what may cause this to

It's actually pretty common with non-chaining Echinodorus.  If they are
growing well, in a substrate that supports their nutritional needs, it's
not at all unusual for them to begin to produce a second (or more) "crown".
 My old Rubin needs to be divided at least a couple of times a year, as
well as producing flower spikes with plantlets.  


Emerse grown Echinodorus

by krandall/
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999

>In response to list members who pointed out the ease at which they get
>their Echinodorus sp. to emerge by lowering water level, I need to respond:
>I have no trouble with E. colifolius (green wildtype) it is the
>fancy-shmancy "tropicaesque" hybrids that are a source of frustration. E.
>rubia, E. ozelot, E. oriental and another (name unknown) that is so red it
>looks like cadaver's blood.  My LFS gets them from god-knows-where after
>they have been sitting in a tank long enough to produce new shoot submersed
>leaves. I like David Wilson's 70% sun / misting method.  I have had limited
>(open air) success with  E. colifolius (MarbleQueen) producing emergent
>leaves, but they seem to remain tiny plants in their emergent form compared
>to the monsters they were submersed. I suspect that since "marble" is a
>natural mutation it may still possess a few rudimentary emergent growth
>survival genes. The "factory #3" Tropicaesque hybrids may have far less of
>these genes.

All of the Tropica Echinodorus, whether species or cultivars are grown
emersed.  Most other commercial growers grow them the same way.  The fact
that most cannot stand up to the lack of humicity in the average home is
not surprising.  Many terrestrial plants need regular misting too in order
to do well.  The reason Swords don't like dry air  is that in nature, they
grow in bogs, swamps, and at the edge of bodies of water.  They grow where
the air is DAMP.  If they were desert plants, it would be realistic to
expect them to do great in dry air.  As it is, they are beahving perfectly
naturally for what they are, regardless of whether they are wild species or

Incidentally, I've seen 'Ozelot' and 'Marble Queen' growing emersed in a
local greenhouse without any trouble at all.  The plants were huge, and
covered with inflorences.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Deformed Echinodorus bleheri?

by Neil Frank <nfrank/>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999

>From: Erik Olson <>
>On Sat, 20 Feb 1999, Andy Dilbert wrote:
>> I recently bought some "Amazon Sword Plants - Medium sized" from Aquarium
>> Driftwood.  They have very long stems, approximately 30 cm. long, and
>> that are only about 10 cm long.  Are these normal Amazons (Echinodorus
>> bleheri) that were just grown in ill-lit tanks, or are these another
>> species?  I wish my plants had longer leaves and shorter stems, like the
>> Amazon's in the following pictures.  Can I make my plants change?
>Why yes!  The magic ingredient is... water.  Most amazon swords are grown
>emersed, out of water, and as such have the leaves you see.  It's easier
>for the growers, and the plants are more easily transported to the
>wholesalers and dealers.  Once kept underwater in the aquarium, they will
>begin reverting to the submersed leaves you want.

Because most if not all Echinodorus these days are grown emersed, Erik is
probably correct.  However, there are commercial sellers who buy plants
from the nursery and grow their plants out underwater for a variety of
reasons. The nursery may do this themselves. So, Andy may have purchased a
swordplant with submersed leaves. Andy, there is still hope....
Some Echinodorus change the shape of their leaves in response to day lenght
(photoperiodism). These are the so-called short day plants and long day
plants... these are the ones that come from temperate and sub-tropical
latitudes. Not all plants come from the equator. In fact, many Echindorus
come from the southern part of South America or the Southern U.S. So, a
underwater plant which is grown outside during the winter in the southern
US will only be getting ~8 hours of good light. One of the Echindorus
described in the literature is E. parviflorus (black amazon swordplant).
There is also the Tropica hybrid with its hammered leaves.  It is a short
day plant. Muhlberg writes: "In long day period it develops water leaves
with short petioles and rather long blades. In short-day periods the leaves
change considerably, petioles become longer and leaves more compact." This
sounds like the plant Andy described. I have not seen anything written
about bleheri and have not personally experimented with it.

Most aquarists keep their lights on for a 12-hour cycle. If you increase
the daylength from 8 to the "normal" 12 hours, the plant leaves will change
for the photo-period-sensitive plants . This is not necessarily because the
new plant is changing from emersed to submersed leaves. Even those of us
with established plants grown for a while with 12 hours might see changes
in the stem/leaf ratios when increasing to 15-16 hours of lighting. Just
another one of those unending amazements about growing aquatic plants. Who
says freshwater aquarium keeping is boring. Reefkeepers, eat your hearts out!!


"Alysoun McLaughlin"s Emersed growth of Ozelot

by boukmn/
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999

I made extensive posts regarding these similar plants (marble queens) over
98'-99.  Go to the APD page and search "boukmn and marble and sword".  Now
I am working on Ozelot emergent growth.  I have found ozelots grow emersed
or submersed equally well, if the air above emergent leaves is too dry, you
won't see leaves shrivel.  Instead, the leaves will grow low; perhaps to be
closer to the water surface where humidity will be highest and short;
perhaps to minimize transpiration of water through bigger leaves.
	I learned from watching three baby plants I placed outdoors in a
1.5'-6"-2' tub with 4" of fertilized soil in a shady spot in Jan.  The
plants experienced limited growth for months till the humidity increases
exploded their growth. 

David Boukmn.

Flowering Echinodorus 'Ozelot'

by "The Stover Family" <takatori/>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999

For the past couple of weeks my Ozelot has been sticking out of the water.
The flower stalk has 4 nodes with 3 buds per node, and it is starting to
show little white flowers. On the growth tip, you know the top bud, it is
starting to grow some little leafs. My questions are:
Will this new growth on the top turn into a little plant like some of the
other Echinodorus I have seen?
How long should I let this stalk grow before I cut it?
Is it kind of rare for this plant to be flowering?
Thanks in advance.

Ryan Stover

Flowering Echinodorus 'Ozelot'

by "Ken Guin" <kenguin/>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999

Ryan Stover asked about his flowering Ozelot:

Ryan, my Echinodorus 'Ozelots' flower very often, so I would imagine that
this is not all that rare (it sure isn't for me).  The flower stalk will
eventually run a couple of feet, or find a way out of the aquarium where it
will put off very pretty white flowers. I keep mine in the tank and they put
off anywhere from three to five plantlets (maybe more if left alone). When
the plantlets' roots get to be about an inch long, I snip the plantlets off
the stalk and plant them. If you are careful, you can snip the plantlets
without cutting stalk.

The "mother" plants I have are very prolific and with lfs trade-ins, they
have just about paid for all of my other aquatic plants. For the APD readers
who are not familiar with this plant: this is a beautiful sword that does
not take over the tank. The ones I have grow to about 18 inches tall and
fill in the middle and background of a tank very nicely. I use laterite
balls, which seems to enhance the red spots on the leaves. I recommend this
sword to anyone who is tired of battling the "monster" swords that we have
all done battle with.


Ken Guin


by Christopher Ferrell <csferrel/>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999

> Will this new growth on the top turn into a little plant like some of the
> other Echinodorus I have seen?
Yes, it should

> How long should I let this stalk grow before I cut it?

I just let mine grow until it quits putting out new growth.  As my plant has gotten bigger, it has gone from about 4 whorls (places where the flowers and new plants form) on it's first stalk to it's current number of 7 on the third stalk.  2 plants grow
from each whorl.  Some of the plants on the stalk are worth keeping (4" before I cut them off) and some never quite get going.  They will send up a leaf or two and then quit growing.  This could be b/c most of the growing is occuring in the larger plants
on the plant stalk.

> Is it kind of rare for this plant to be flowering?

I have had one for about 2 months and have has 3 plant stalks.  They all overlapped each other as far as when they appeared.  I use flourite, co2, 2.4w/gallon, PMDD and jobes plant spikes.  The only thing that I would attribute it to would be the extra
nutrients provided by the plant spikes.  Nothing that I would construe as shock conditions.  If that isn't the cause, then it just like to send up flower stalks, which is fine by me.


Red Sword Recommendations

by Neil Frank <nfrank/>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000

>From: "Robert H" <>
>>>Is the Ech. uruguayesis
>and Ech. hormanii the same plant?
>>Uruguayesis is not a red sword, but I like the look of it because of its
>long ribbon like leaves. 

E. uruguayensis is the name used by Haynes and Holm-Nielsen (1994) to
describe a number of related Echinodorus which include E. horemanii. The
leaves can be narrow or wide. The one with narrower leaves is typically
called uruguayensis; with wider leaves it is horemanii. There is a green
horemanii, with beautiful translucent leaves and there is a particularly
striking one called E.horemanii, red. You can see a nice, but very small
picture of red horemanii in ZooMed's ad in PLANTED AQUARIA MAGAZINE (lower
left). It is my photo and my plant.  This is the quality that the publisher
(Gomberg) intended for all the photos, but unfortunately there was an
unanticipated problem with the slide scans. 

>They can get quite large. I had one for three years
>that ended up taking up a whole corner of my 100 gallon tank.

Indeed they can grow large, but with care their size can be controlled. I
have been keeping red horemanii in the same (2 wpg)70 gallon tank for
almost ten years now and I have had them range from 12 inches to over 20
inches. It is all a function of light and nutrients. In a 125 with more
light and nutrients, it took up 1/3 of the tank. Now I am keeping them as a
group of bonzai plants and the look is stunning. They are one of my
favorite plants, but unfortunately they may not longer be available
Because of its beautiful dark red leaves, the red horemanii has become the
mother of several red sword hybrids - including 'rubin', 'narrow leaf
rubin' and 'rose'. I possibly have a new one from eastern Europe that is
similar to narrow leaf rubin and it looks very similar to red horemanii.
The hybrids CAN be grown emersed, so they should all be readily available.
Unlike all the hybrids, however, the red horemanii retains its red color on
all the older leaves. I believe the reason it is not widely available is
because it may not grow emersed. Gasser's Specialty Plant Nursery (my
original source which has since closed down) raised both the green and red
forms underwater. It reproduced by producing new plants on the woodly

>Several lurkers here have both the
>Ruby and the Indian red, perhaps someone will tell you on or off list how it
>has grown for them.

The Indian Red is great new plant. It is yet another hybrid of E. X barthii
(the "so-called" double red hybrid of E.osiris). The nice thing about
Indian Red is that it does not appear to get large. The largest mine have
gotten is ~8 inches, but I have not yet exposed it to relatively high
light. It has been growing a few years in my low (~1wpg) light 70 g tank.
There is a picture of it on pages 7 and 28 of the Spring 2000 issue of PAM.
I suspect that with brighter light, the older leaves may retain more red.

Another neat plant is the so-called "Red Flame." This is a variant of
ozelot. I call it the "green on red" ozelot. Although I am red-green color
blind, the colors are very constrasty and show up much better (to me) than
the orginal ozelot. 
- --Neil

Red Sword recommendations

by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000

Not only the green and red horemanii swords, but also another variety with
narrow, strap-like green leaves is included in the E. uruguayensis group.
This one, I believe, really doesn't belong with the others.  I had a plant
of this narrow-leaved variety produce floating leaves in my 75 gallon tank,
when it had the tank to itself with plenty of light, nutrients, and CO2.  I
have not seen any mention in the literature of this ability to produce
floating leaves.  The leaves were thick, oval, 6 to 8 inches long, and had
stems three or four feet long.  The plant would have covered a circle with
a 7 foot diameter if it had room to spread out.  I have kept the red
horemanii under similar conditions, and it showed no tendency to produce
floating leaves.  This narrow-leaved uruguayensis seems quite different
from the red or green horemanii, and I don't think it ought to be lumped in
the same species.

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi, where we missed another chance for
rain last night.

Red Sword Recommendations

by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000

Neil Frank wrote:
>.....(2)Most of my experiences with this species is with the red horemanni
>variety. At times, I have had my red horemanii grow so large in the 70
>gallon tank that its leaves were unable to stay totally under water.
>Consequently, they would pile up and part of the leaf would be essentially
>"floating" on the surface. Because of the tight quarters, the leaves could
>not float evenly and parts of the leaves would be partially out of the
>water and dry out.This was not a pretty sight. Maybe this was different
>than the floating behavior of your strap-like uruguayensis-type Echinodorus.

It sounds like the leaves of your red horemanii did not change in shape or
appearance, but just got pushed above the water line by crowding of the
leaves below.  The submersed leaves of my narrow-leaved green uruguayensis
were strap-like with hardly any petiole.  The floating leaves were oval
with very long petioles.  There were no intermediate forms of leaves.  The
floating leaves were tough with a waxy upper surface, and somewhat olive

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi, where our next chance of rain is
Sat.  89 degrees today, and 91 expected tomorrow. 

Echinodorus 'compacta'

by "Tom Wood" <tomwood2/>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002

Steve B. wrote:

"Can anyone tell me a little about this plant?  I can't seem to find a
whole lot of info on it, but I think it may be the same as or at least
similar to e. parviflorus 'Tropica'.  Can anyone confirm this?"

No, the e. compacta is also known as e. robustus - see the
site for details.

I have both in a 3 watt/gallon (AH Supply PCF) 90 gallon. The parviflorus
stays about 1.5" high, the robustus stays about 6" high. They get thicker as
new leaves sprout from the center. The parviflorus has nicely
hammered leaves that are medium dark green. The robustus are light green and
look just like a regular amazon, just smaller.

Tom Wood
Austin, Texas, ya'll

Growing E. cordifolius

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Sat, 07 Apr 2001


I've been trying to grow E. cordifolius (Rubin swords) from seed.  I
thought I'd let y'all know how things are going so far.

Last summer my emersed E. cordifolius bloomed and produced (through self
fertility) hundreds and hundreds of seeds, which I allowed to cure on
the plant, then stripped off and stored in an envelope over the winter. 
Also, some time last summer I guess some seeds fell into a shallow tray
that I was using to grow out some E. cordifolius plantlets that sprouted
off the flower spikes.

This spring I set up planters to start the seed.  I mixed some of Karl
Schoeler's Substrate Gold with sandy garden soil (sterilized in a
microwave oven) and peat, along with enough water to make thick mud.  I
poured about an inch of that mess into two deli trays (clear plastic,
about 10" square and 4" deep with a snap-down lid).  I scattered ~200
seeds into each tray and snapped them shut.  I put the trays in front of
windows were they could get a few hours/day of direct sunlight and
sprayed them daily with distilled water to keep the (aromatic) muck wet.

The experience so far has been consistent with what I was lead to expect
last fall when I brought this up on the list.  The seeds started to
germinate after two weeks.  They are continuing to germinate and now
four weeks after planting there are still new plants appearing now and
then.  The fertility rate is low.  So far I have 5 seedlings sprouted in
one tray (the one that gets the most sunlight) and 2 seedlings in the

I once fertilized both trays with a little dilute solution of potassium
nitrate, but they have received no other fertilization.  I'll probably
repeat that again tommorrow.

The seedlings grew to about a half inch in diameter, with just a couple
grass-like leaves.  So far all of them seem to be stalled at that point.

The seeds that fell into the grow-out tray are a slightly different
story.  Seedlings started appearing last fall, probably a couple months
after the latest date when the seeds could have fallen into the tray. 
Seedlings appeared now and then all winter, but none lasted long before
they dropped their leaves (I found them floating in the tray) and
disappeared.  One seedling held on for quite a while, but never got much
more than a half inch in diameter with 4 or 5 leaves.  Last week I took
it out of the grow-out tray and planted it with the other seedlings.  It
seems to be doing well, but without much new growth.

Has anyone else done this and observed the stall in growth in
seedlings?  I wonder if this might be a natural growth pattern.  A long
dormancy would be similar to the pattern in biennial weeds that sprout
in the fall, winter over in a dormant state the grow again in the

When I do this again there will be a few things I do differently.

Growing the plants under water didn't work very well. The water was
unheated and had no supplemental CO2, and I'm probably never going to do
those things just to get some seeds started.

Next time around I'll let the soil mix sit and firm-up for a couple days
before I try planting in it.  Then, instead of just sprinkling seeds
loosely on the soil, I'll use a flat tool of some sort to press the
seeds into the soil without burying them.

I stored the seeds for several months.  Next time I'll try planting some
without waiting.  Maybe those will have a better germination rate. 
Also, I hope to get a second plant flowering; maybe cross-pollination
will give more viable seeds.

I wonder about using a different sort of tray to start the seedlings. 
The deli trays provide a hotbox effect.  I worried that they might get
too hot for the plants to survive.  Maybe putting some vents into the
snap-down lid would let them take more light without over heating and
without losing too much water.

Anyone have ideas or experience they can contribute?

Roger Miller

Flowering echinodorus

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001

Vincent Chye wrote:

> I've just read Roger Miller's post on growing echinodorus plants from seed.
> What a coincidence! My sword plant (dont know the species, heart shaped
> leaves - cordiflorus??) has been growing emersed out of my tank for a few
> months now, about 15 leaves that are much larger than the submersed ones.

It might be cordifolius, but there are a number of Echinodorus with
about the same shape of emersed leaf.  If you can find a key to the
genus, then with a flower in hand you should be able to get a definitive
identification.  There's a key in Rataj and Horeman.  Does anyone know
if there are other keys available?

> Today along with another leaf, a spike that i take to be a flower spike came
> right out of the water too. How do I fertilise the flower so that i can get
> seeds? What do I do then?

If it behaves like mine, then the flower spike will grow to 3-4 feet
long, with nodes at varying intervals.  Flower buds will arise at the
nodes.  Plantlets develop at the nodes after the flowers bloom. 
Flowering and plantlet development start at the bottom of the spike and
work their way up. It takes weeks (and weeks) for a spike to play out. 
The plant may develop two or more spikes at the same time.

> Roger, any tips on what I should do?

If you have cats it's a good idea to discourage them from playing with
the spikes.
I just let nature take it's course.  The flowers were self-fertile and
didn't need any intervention on my part to get pollinated.  Not all
Echinodorus are self-fertile, so your results may vary.  I let the
developing seed heads stay on the plant until they were brown and dried,
then removed the seeds by rubbing the heads between my fingers.  The
plantlets develop fairly slowly, but after a while (when the plant
leaves were over 4" long) they can be easily detached from the spike. 
They have no roots.  I planted mine in a shallow tray with a couple
inches of water over a rich substrate, with their leaves out of water. 
They developed roots quickly.  From there I transferred the rooted
plants to an aquarium and grew them out under water.  I sold them to my
LFS after they got too big for the grow-out tank.

If you detach the plantlets too early they develop rather slowly, so
it's a good idea to leave them on the spike as long as you can.  I think
I ended up selling about 1/3 of the plantlets that I harvested last
summer;  the other 2/3 mostly just failed to thrive and disappeared in
the grow-out tank or developed slowly enough that I got bored with them
and threw them out to clear space for other things.

Alternatives would be to either submerse the entire spike once it was
done blooming then pull off the plantlets after they develop roots, or
to detach the plantlets and move them directly to submersed growth.  The
first option will be fairly unattractive, but the success rate may prove
higher than my approach.  The second option is easier than my approach
but I suspect the success rate will be worse.

I'd love to hear other people's experiences with propogating the largers
sword plants.  Hopefully someone else will chime in.  Up to now I'm a
little surprised by what appears to be a lack of experience among the
list members.

Roger Miller

red flames

by "Robert H" <robertpaulh/>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001

>>Diana asks about the Red Flame Sword. You can see a picture of ours at (you can compare it to the
red-spotted ozelots we have in other pictures) and Diana's description is a
good one. It's a lovely plant (I think it's just Echinodorus "Red Flame") --
ours is less prolific than the ozelots, which put up flower
stalks very regularly.  We got ours in a trade, but two online sources folks
can try are The Plant Connection (ask for Gloria) which gets them in from time to time,
and perhaps Robert H. at<<

If I remember Diana correctly, she got hers from me. As someone else pointed
out, you can find out the history of this cultivar from Tropica. However, it
is real difficult to go strictly by pictures. Any sword plant can vary
greatly in it's appearance and even leaf structure.  Osiris, Ozelot, red
flame, and even Oriental can all look very simular, or quite different. I
had one oriental sword that sent out big round leaves, and elongated leaves
like a rubin, on the same plant! Coloring can vary greatly, (the amount or
lack of) and besides that there is emmersed and submersed leaf structure and

Most of the Red Flames now available in the USA are imported from Singapore,
as I do not think Florida Aquatic Nuseries is producing this plant. They
have their own cultivar, "Indian red". The main constant characteristic of
the red flame is the etched like color pattern that you can see in both
Jared's picture and Tropicas'. Perhaps Jared can share any observations of
how his colored up, and if he noticed any difference in leaf structure as
the plant grew.

Robert Paul H
AB Newsletter: 585 subscribers!

mechanism for rooting of Echinodorus

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2001

On Wed, 9 May 2001, Dan Resler wrote:

> In a stream, how would this monster get rooted? As plantlets get
> bigger do they provide more of a surface area for moving water and
> eventually get pushed over to the substrate where they root? Or do
> their roots eventually reach the substrate and somehow the plantlet
> gets pulled down? Maybe the stalk eventually just collapses, sending
> the plantlet on it's merry way? Or in a current the plantlet would
> eventually detach on its own?
> Or some combination of all-of-the-above?

The plantlet-bearing spikes on emersed E. cordifolius droop to the ground
as the plantlets mature.  In mud or shallow water they would root as soon
as the spike drooped far enough.

The plantlets are lighter than water, so submersed plantlets won't droop
to the ground.  Maybe submersed plants wait for the dry season when the
water level drops and they end up on the ground, or maybe they just have
to wait until the runner rots or is broken off and the plantlet washes
onto a bank somewhere.

Mostly speculating.

Roger Miller

Hybrids (was E. cordifolius)

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000

On Tue, 26 Sep 2000, CK wrote:

> Roger, care to share with us how you got your E. cordifolius seeds?

I grew a single plant emersed in a fish bowl about 1/3-filled with
substrate material and the rest the way with water.  The substrate was a
mix of aquarium gravel and potting soil, with some DTPA iron mixed into
the lower part, and capped with an inch or so of clean gravel.  I used
Jobes House Plant spikes for macronutrients.   I put some ramshorn snails
in the tank to keep algae down and they did a great job.

The plant took what I thought was an amazing amount of water -- about a
gallon and a half a week, which I dutifully provided by topping the bowl
up twice a week.

It was a beautiful plant that eventually covered an area about 2 1/2 feet
in diameter. Once the plant reached mature size it started putting out
3-foot long flower stalks.  Each node on the stalks produced several
flowers and as many as three plantlets.  The flowers opened just after
dawn and stayed open till near sunset.  Afterwords a seed head about 1-cm
in diameter developed from the flower.  It takes a month or so for the
seed head to ripen.

The plant grew well from early May through most of August then started
getting pretty sickly.  I recently figured out that with my tap water
additions and the high water use by the plant that the salt content in the
water in the bowl probably exceeded 8,000 ppm; very brackish.  I drained
the bowl over the weekend and refilled with fresh water.  Hopefully the
plant will recover.

So far I have "harvested" only two of the five stalks that the plant
produced.  That gave me several plantlets that I adapted to submersed
growth and eventually traded at the LFS.  It also gave me several ripe
seed heads.  I removed the seeds by rolling them between my fingers and
stored the seeds in an envelope.  The plant still has three stalks on it
and there are probably close to 50 seed heads on those stalks.  About half
of those heads are ripe.  The seeds are small and I'm probably getting at
least 15 seeds per head.

I am assuming that since the plant produced seeds that it was self
fertile.  Would a self-sterile plant pollinate and produce sterile seeds?

Since there is only one individual involved the genetic diversity among
the seeds should be small.

My plan at this point is to setup some covered, clear plastic trays (from
a grocery store salad bar) with a wet, clean sand substrate, sprinkle the
seeds on the surface of the sand and keep it wet for as long as it takes
the plants to germinate.  If seedlings develop then I'll transplant those
to a more fertile substrate to grow out.  I'll grow them out emersed in
the same kind of container that I sowed them in. I can probably sow
several hundred seeds and I might be able to raise 50 plants to the size
an inch or two, but probably no more than 10 to a size large enough to
adapt to submersed growth and eventually sell or trade.

Aside from the fertility of the seeds, I'm concerned that the room
temperature may be too cool and/or the photoperiod too short for
germination and early growth.


Echinodorus Ozelot

by "Jamie Johnson" <jjohnson/>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000

Tom ( wrote:
> Subject: Echinodorus Ozelot
> Our Ozelot sword is sending out its first runner, is there anything
> special we should do? Should we let it grow out of the tank or try to
> keep it in the water? Since it is a hybrid will the babies be Ozelots?

Tom, I had a runner that was 2.5 feet long. I finally let the end grow 
up toward the light and it got fried, but the rest of the runner was 
submerged. About every 6-8" a weird "knot" would form. These 
eventually turned into four plants per "knot". I kept the runner 
submerged all the time, but it probably would grow out the tank 
also. After a while, the plantlets were about 4-5" tall with several 
leaves per plantlet. I snipped the runner and cut the plantlets loose. 
Every one of them made it. I went from one to fifteen in about six 
months. I have no idea if they were hybrids.

Jamie    <"\\\><
Greenwood, SC

Echinodorus compacta

by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2002

Robert H. wrote:

> Again, let me re-iterate, from what I have been able to find out,
> parviflorus var tropica is not a cultivar, and despite the name has nothing
> to do with Tropica plants. This is according to other databases besides
> Tropica such as Dennerle, Eheim, and a couple of others. I also found a
> write up about it in one of my plant books, but I cant remember which one.
> It is reffered to as a sub specie of parviflorus naitive to South America.
> Its listed in the Krib plant list as parviflorus var tropicO . The "wild"
> version you refer to is described as having black veins in the leaves, which
> is where the name Black Amazon comes from.

> All this talk about comparing plants to pictures, I would think people would
> know by now that many plants, particularly swords, can vary greatly in leaf
> shape, size, and color. It is impossible to go soley by pictures. For
> instance I have kept the cultivar, Indian red sword which as had large oval
> shaped leaves, and those with long tapered leaves like a Red rubin. I have
> raised 'Oriental' swords with different leaf shapes on the same plant.

My source of information about E. parviflorus 'Tropica' comes from
Kasselmann, Aquarienpflanzen, p. 262.  Kasselmann calls it a divergent
(abweichende) form and says it was cultivated in Singapore and Sri Lanka,
and that Tropica got it in the early 1980's.  It was described as E.
parviflorus Rataj 'Tropica' in a 1985 article in Aqua Planta (vol. 10, #3,
p. 15).  I can not find the full reference to this article.  Tropica calls
it a cultivar on their web page.

The 'Tropica' form has become so widespread that the original parviflorus
is hardly ever available to hobbyists.  Kasselmann also discusses and
illustrates the original form, and that is what I have.

Paul Krombholz in chilly, central Mississippi, with frost this morning.  

Up to Plants! <- Plants <- The Krib This page was last updated 17 February 2002