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Re: Eleocharis

In a message dated 5/19/00 3:54:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

<< The plant I have been trying to identify is almost
 positively Elocharis minima (spelling?).  It looks
 cool and has been growing "slowly but surely".  New
 plants grow from the tips of older leaves, and it's
 much thinner than the acicularis specie >>

New plants grow from the tips of Eleocharis vivipara. 

There appear to be several species of "hairgrass" growing here in southern 
Florida. There's the vivipara and acicularis - plus the coarser geniculata 
and montevidensis. The other day, while shuffling through the sandy shallows 
of a local lake in search of the Florida Fl... eer, ... American Flag Fish - 
I suddenly felt an odd sensation beneath my bare feet - a sensation not 
unlike the texture of a carpet. 
Though I could easily see the bottom through the clear water, I didn't really 
notice anything but white sand and the occasional E. geniculata. Feeling 
around through that sand, however, my fingers encountered a fine, hairlike 
infrastructure. Reaching further down into the sand - down below this 
underlying, and now obvious network of roots - I pulled up a great gob of 
what looked for all the world like fine, freshly sprouted rye grass - right 
down to the light green color. 

"AH HA"! I said to myself, this has got be what that politically incorrect, 
ball-and-chain hugger, Dwight, calls "carpet grass." But what on earth is 
this stuff really? Yet another form of Eleocharis or is it perhaps even some 
subspecies of Echinodorus tennellus? The cylindrical hairs are about 1/4 
thicker than the hairs of Myriophyllum heterophyllum (Red Foxtail) that I 
have it next to in a holding tank. One thing's for sure, it looks pretty cool 
in the aquarium and if this stuff- whatever it is - grows this thick, tight 
and compact while half-burried in sand and under two feet of water in the 
wild - what's it going to look like after a couple weeks under 220 W of PC 
and CO2?

Guess I'll just have to wait and see....

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach