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Flowering E. barthii
Well, after 6 months of healthy growing the only Echinodorus barthii in the
tank decided to send out a flower stalk (about 4" long now) which is quite
exciting. I just wanted to report the conditions that I think lead to this
and get some feedback from the forum.
It was planted in February in laterite enhanced gravel with RootTabs and
Jobe's every 2 months and PMDD fertilizer added to the water columns every
second day. The tank is positioned right next to a window such that it gets
a fair amount of natural light in addition to the 4W/gal fluorescent for 12
hours/day (there are quite a few floating plants filtering that light
though). The plant has been growing large submersed leaves (to the rate of
one every few days) ever since then. Two things then happened. First, the
daylength up here in Edmonton has reached about 18 hours/day sometime in
June. Right around this time all the Echinodorus plants (martii, barthii and
bleheri) have started growing really large leaves on really long stems. All
the leaves that E. barthii grew since then have been emersed. From that
peak, the daylength has decreased to the current 15 hours/day and the stems
and leaves also decreased in size (E. barthii is still emersed though). But
with this decrease in daylength came the flower stalk for E. barthii.
I have been reading in the archives about flowering being induced by
daylength in Echinodorus plants even though there didn't seem to be a
consensus on what daylength or what kind of change will cause it. In this
case a more seasonal-like variation was the culprit while in past
experiments it seemed that just fluorescent lights were used.
Did anybody flower E. barthii in the past? This is a Tropica cultivar so I
am not sure how popular it really is. I will let you know how it turns out.