Saturday, September 23, 2006

Limnophila aromatica

Common name: Rice paddy herb
Scientific name: Limnophila aromatica
Geographic location: Southeast Asia
Temperature: 70F-85F
pH: 5.0-8.0
Light: High (3WPG+)
Growth: Moderate
Difficulty: Moderate

L. aromatica is a very pretty plant for the aquarium, and it is easy to grow as well, provided you have enough light. It looks similar to the much harder to grow P. stellatus or L. inclinata "Cuba" with whorls of reddish-purple tinted leaves. It grows at a moderate pace and is tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. It does require fertilization and CO2 to grow to its full potential. In the aquarium, it is best suited in the midground as the deep purple undersides of the leaves tend to make it a focal point. It can be trimmed by cutting the tops off and replanting them in the substrate where they will grow roots. As a side note, L. aromatica is also used in Vietnamese cuisine as an herb.

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