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Eichhornia (crassipes, azurea, diversifolia)


  1. RE:Eichornia diverisfolia
    by Tom Barr <tcbiii/> (Thu, 01 Apr 1999)
  2. Eichornia and other's
    by Tom Barr <tcbiii/> (Tue, 09 Mar 1999)
  3. Eichhornia
    by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/> (Thu, 23 Nov 2000)
  4. E. azurea
    by Michael Eckardt <mike/> (Fri, 24 Nov 2000)
  5. Eichornia diversifolia
    by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/> (Sun, 29 Oct 2000)

Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) bloom

Eichhornia azurea, with emersed leaves!

photos by Erik Olson

RE:Eichornia diverisfolia

by Tom Barr <tcbiii/>
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999

I've had this plant for some time. It can be somewhat tempermental for
some plant keepers. It tends to branch at the lower portions of the stem
and this is the best way to propergate this plant.This is slow to happen
and I suspect there's some tweaking to be done to help get some better
growth out of this plant.I really don't give one species or another a
special tank of their own .I throw them in with a bunch of plants and
see if they can hold their own. The plant pearls good daily but growth
is slow IMO. Pretty plant.
The lower leaves tend to turn black unless totally good conditions
prevail. Likes a very large amount of light and room .Looks very simiar
to Heteranthera zosterfolia but much slower growing and not as ratty. I
would not recommend this plant to a beginner. Go with the H
zost.(stargrass) instead .Conditions : Ph @6.3,KH @5.5,temp@ 80 F,
Lighting has been FL and QTL's and MH's.Seem to like the MH's and the
QTL's over the FL's. 2-3mm gravel, Fe dosed etc and 25% weekly changes
etc. A few SAE's,snails and clams.
    Slow growth could be due to competion with other plants for N and
P.Hope this gives some help.
Tom Barr       AGA/SFAS

Eichornia and other's

by Tom Barr <tcbiii/>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999

I have kept these plants for awhile now.
The Eichornia azurea is a fast growing plant that takes some acclimating
time. Gets large but is a spectacular plant. Propagation can be done by
seed but most cuttings will not work/grow typically so you are left with
only the original stem. I've found a solution to this by bending the
plant over horizontally and new starter stems form after 1-2 weeks which
can be cut off after they have grown to size. This plant gets 12 inches
across or more if healthy. Tends to get blacken leaves if not taken care
of. Good plant for a 55 or larger.
       E.diversifolia is a slower growing plant that is quite nice. It
too will get "black leaf" if not happy. It branches well at the base and
cuttings can be obtained. Does well in well kept plant tanks. Looks
somewhat like H zosterfolia(Stargrass) but slower growing. Not an easy

      Tom Barr     AGA       in wet San Fransico


by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000

> My E.azureas have reached the surface of the tank and started
> growing
> emersed leaves - the lovely submerged leaves have turned black
> and are
> falling off.
> I guess I missed that part in Kasselmann where she says that
> the surface
> leaves look ugly.
> My alternatives are 1: to chop off the top of the plant and
> plant it in the
> hopes that underwater leaves are formed again, or 2: to hope
> for
> (underwater) side shoots off the main stem. or 3: HELP!
> Do any of you have experiences with this?

I have had this plant for some time. I would hack it and try to
replant the top and leave the bottom intact. It may die off
though. Once it "knows" where the surface is it will not waste
any energy putting out sumersed leaves or shoots.Lilies will
often do this.

 Another method that you did not mention is to "bend" the plant
back under the water perhaps with fishing line anchored to
something to keep the plant under and it will produce side
shoots (all along the top) often in this manner with a submersed
plant and reconvert the process of immersed leave production
back to submersed. Don't "pull" the stem to far under the
surface perhaps only 2-3 inches from the surface in a "L" bent
shape. This will minimize the light shock and will not require
any cutting futher reducing shock to the plant.
It's a fast grower etc but it can die easily and blacken out.
     The other Eichhornia (diversilfolia)does this as well.
I believe the blackened leaves are a competition mechanism to
block light from other plants/algae. The old dead generation
keeps any other plants growing till the next season(s) so the
Eichhornia gets a head start and perhaps the narrow morphology
of the plant allows it to get through all the blackened litter
easier than other plants. It could also be once the plant
blackens that it covers the surface completely even if it's
mostly dead plants but a few plants are still actively growing,
getting all the nutrients etc out of the water/soil etc. It's
certainly an advanced plant with many ways to compete in an
aquatic environment. It's also a no-no plant on the bad noxious
weed list. Nice flower. 

Soap box:
The funny thing is that nurseries often sell water hythcinth(an
extremely common Eichhornia species) yet no USDA folks are
calling all the nurseries in CA to stop them in any way. They
have free access and sales. Hell, this plant is the one that
will get into the water ways and clog everything. Not the things
we generally keep....(a few will though, don't dump them!~)I've
seen more noxious weeds for sale than I care to elaborate on at
these places. I like ponds very much, don't get me wrong. If
your going to "look the other way" why not this small group of
plant tank people as well? They tend to be a lesser risk at
keeping things from getting into nature I would bet. Simply less
of us as well. 
I find it quite peculiar that this plant is allowed and others
like it to "pond gardeners" yet we are harassed (Orchard's and a
many chain stores carry water H's). These plants have a higher
probability/likelhood of getting loose.
But the nurseries have other plants that are sold and are
ornamentals and also noxious weeds yet they are sold freely.
That part bugs me. If it's a commercially saleable plant, it
doesn't matter if its a weed or not. The USDA wears two hats
with their noxious weed program. Side note: 26F degrees is
consider "fresh" for turkey & chicken sold in this state under
the USDA. I guess they changed the physical constant of water.
Such power...... 

Happy Bird-day
Tom Barr who is happy and stuffed from a USDA inspected "fresh"


E. azurea

by Michael Eckardt <mike/>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000

I really appreciate the advice on the E. azurea. I'll give it a try tonight.

Just an expansion on your soap box:
E. azurea, while in the same genus as the water hyacinth, E. crassipes, has
none of its invasive qualities.
The water hyacinth is a floating plant  while E. azurea requires planting in
a decent substrate - i.e. it won't just float away, break apart and
regenerate. Also, its growth rate is much slower.
E. crassipes requires fairly warm temperatures, and its distribution in the
Northern States and Canada should not present an invasive/noxious weed
problem.  In the South, it's a whole different ball game though and I agree
with your warnings.

Michael Eckardt

Eichornia diversifolia

by "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill/>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000


I have some Eichornia diversifolia that Tom Barr sent to me last winter.
It grows in my tanks, but the leaves always turn black an inch or so below
the end of the stem. Tom mentioned that this could be caused by an
allelopathic interaction, but I don't think I'm keeping the plants with
any of the species that Tom thought caused it problems.  Does anyone know
what might cause/cure this problem?

It's in a 10-gallon tank with 30 watts of NO fluorescent lighting.  I mix
magnesium sulfate and potassium chloride into all my change water, and
change 15% per week. The water is soft but strongly buffered.  The tank
gets yeast CO2 and iron gluconate tablets in the substrate.  Temperature
is at 78 degrees F, but it's warmer during summer.  Besides the Eichornia
the tank is planted with C. wendtii, Echinodorus tenellus (regular and
dwarf), dwarf lobelia, "willow leaf" hygrophilla and some floating
hornwort and duck weed.  For animal company it has male guppies, female
swordtails and a couple otos plus MT and ramshorn snails.

Roger Miller

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