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Bruce Hansen wrote:
> I have seen large stands ( e.g. 20 feet by 200 feet) of this plant on tidal
> mangrove mudflats up in PNG. I would be interested to hear from you if they
> are reproducing by runners or by axillary plantlets. I got the impression up
> there that "latifolia" seemed to use plantlets that detach and drift off
> with the tides and currents as a colonising strategy whereas the "narrow" or
> "ciliata" subspecies was more a runner producer that stabilised mudbanks and
> could resist stronger currents and handle higher salinities.
After your description here I went back to my books and decided that the
plants were probably the "latifolia" variety after all. Aside from being
abnormally tall for latifolia, the leaf petiole is as much as twice as
long as the leaf blade; latifolia's petiole should be about the same
length as the blade. I also read that C. ciliata needs pretty bright
light. Mine are in a tank where the light is rather dim *and* there was a
stand of H. zosterifolia growing over the crypts.
I think the extra height and the unusual aspect of the leaves is because
they're reaching for the light. It could also be a competitive reaction
to the H. zosterifolia. I'm going to clear most of the H. zosterifolia,
try to get some more light on the tank and hope the plants stay at a more
Karen Randall saw the plant when she visited here last month -- about the
time I first started thinking that they were the taller variety of C.
ciliata. She commented then that the tall C. ciliata puts out runners and
new plants could appear anywhere in the tank -- pretty much a nuisance in
an aquascaped tank. I haven't seen that behavior at all. Instead, these
plants are bearing plantlets in the axils of the leaves, and I've removed
a couple of those to see if I can grow them out.
In Albuquerque, with 95 degree temperatures, 30 mile per hour winds and no
rain for a month. Great weather for a forest fire.