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Bob Olesen wrote:
When we speak of "Water sprite" are we referring to Hygrophila difformis,
Ceratopteris thalicroides or perhaps something else entirely? Mr. Purchase
makes a good point in this regard.....
Gee, I never knew that the name, water sprite, was used for anything else
than Ceratopteris. Do 'they' use it for Hygrophila difformis, formerly
known as Synnema triflorum, , Ruellia triflora, Cardanthera triflora and
water wisteria, also? Bummer!
I meant Ceratopteris, probably C. thalictrioides, but I have doubts about
how satisfactorily the naming of the Ceratopteris varieties or species has
been worked out. I have seen four varieties or species: (1) the
"oak-leaved" one that has rather thick fleshy leaves that remain broad and
only lobed, even when, say, six inches long. This is C. cornuta.
Kasselmann shows a picture of it with leaves that are much more divided
(compound pinnate) than I have ever seen. The plant she shows is closer to
the three other varieties. that are usually lumped under C. thalictroides.
The one that has been in the aquarium trade the longest has the least
divided leaves. small leaves, around an inch long, are only lobed. This
could be called the broad leaved form. There are two narrow-leaved forms
that I have seen, and that I presently have. These both have their leaves
more finely divided, even the small leaves. One fine leaved variety has
rather blunt tips to the leaves, and the other has much more narrow,
pointed tips. Of the three varieties, it is the most graceful because the
leaves have a slight spiral as they branch, but, like all three varieties,
it quickly gets too big for most tanks and has to be severely pruned back.
Paul Krombholz, in hot, dry, central Mississippi