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Re: Amano Pearl Grass

From: Dwight <boukmn at mindspring_com>

>Hemianthus micranthemoides I am told, is the "Amano" variety usually
>refered to as "Pearlgrass".  You can identify it b/c it has a pair of
>leaves at each joint.   Pearlgrass is the easier of the two to grow IMHO.
>I suspect that this is the one you have.

The plant that was offered at the AGA conference and which Amano gave me
when I visited him in Niigata __SHOULD NOT__ be called Hemianthus
micranthemoides. This plant has 2 leaves at each node which alternate in
direction. It also tends to grow in a more informal manner. 


>Hemianthus umbrosum is what I've seen being sold as "Baby tears".   It is
>the more demanding plant.   I identify it b/c it has 3-4 leaves at each
>joint. I am told it is an American var.  

H. micranthemoides also has 3-4 leaves per node and it too is native to
America.  It's leaves are similar in size to the other Hemianthus species
(aka "pearl grass"). Umbrosum has larger leaves unless the plant is starved
of macronutrients.

I'm not entirely convinced they
>are different sp.  They could be distinct var. of the same species.  I am
>willing to accept arguements either way.

H.micrantemoides and Amano pearl grass grow very differently WHEN THEY ARE
IN THE SAME TANK. ALthough they are not necessarily different species, they
are different enough for an aquatic gardener's purposes.

>I have chosen to identify them both as Hemianthus micranthemoides and
>specify their common names so folks know they are two distinct & DIFFERENT

Arbitrarily assiging species names to a plant is not good practice and,
unfortunately contributes to the confusion regarding the identity of
aquarium plants. This has been done by most sellers of aquatic plants over