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Re: E rosaefolia
Thanks for researching the origin of this plant. One name for a plant is
not enough, we usually need the full pedigree.
>Some of you folks out there over the past year have bought the Sword plant
>E. rosaefolia from me and have asked what kind of sword is it, where does it
>come from. I have never known the answer to that question until now...
>This is a cultivar that was developed by Robert Gasser. Most of the old time
>plant nuts know who Mr. Gasser is. Now retired, this gentleman during his
>hay day in the 70s and 80s cultivated his own plants, most noteably
>Cryptocorynes and had a thriving business producing high quality plants.
In 1990, I am pretty sure I obtained the same plant from Gasser. He gave it
to me as red horemanii. More correctly, I got it from his wife Marge who
tended after all the Echinodorus. Bob was in charge of the crypts and
everything else. Now that Robert H mentioned it, I vaguely remember the
Gassers using the trade name rosefolia. I am almost certain it is not a
cultivar. At that time, he also raised the green horemanii, which was sold
under the trade name of "jade sword." I still have both plants from the
original stock. The Gassers were very proud of these two unusual "sword"
plants, with their semi translucent, almost stain glass like leaves. They
soon become my favorites. According to the latest Echindorus taxonomy, both
of these plants would be called E. uruguayensis. In this grouping, the leaf
width and length can vary depending on the original site. The Tepoot book
actually lists them as varietys of this species. Gasser supplied many of
the rare plants photographed in that book. Many of you have seen my
pictures of my red horemanii. A few were in PAM and one is on the jacket of
Zoo-Med bulbs. This red plant is truely my favorite of all water plants. I
am glad to know that it is available thru commercial suppliers. Over the
years. I have produced many offspring vegetatively (from the trailing root
stalk, which I previously discussed on the APD), and last year after
changing its water temperature and photoperiod, it finally flowered. In
fact, it sent up 3 flower stalks in a 3 week period - from different plants
that were growing together. It definitely did not like constant 12-hr
lighting and high 70deg conditions. To make room for other plants, I have a
young one in my indoor tank, while the "mother plants" are now "resting" in
my pond in 40 degree temperature. Coming from northern Argentina/Uruguay in
the southern part of SA (before a stint at the Gassers :-), they appear to
be doing fine in those conditions.
>This plant as far as I know is not produced by Florida Aquatic Nurseries, or
>any plant producer abroad, but is only available thru a couple of smaller
>growers in Florida who bought out Gassers inventory, one of which I do
FAN may have the plant occassionally, but it is too much trouble for them
to raise since it is one of the true aquatic Echinodorus. FAN likes to
raise their plants emersed using hydroponic methods. Fortunately for us,
there are still the small farms in the US who use the older methods. Under
the name red horemanii, however, it can be found in several European or
Asian plant catalogs.
> The characteristics of the plant are tall narrow leaves that
>turn a very dark solid red. You can see a picture here:
Here is an older picture of a few larger red horemanii (aka roseafolia) in
my 75gal tank.
They are occupying 1/2 the tank!
These plants can become huge. I have to use the "Frank method" of
infrequently replacing flourescent bulbs, starving the plants of macro
nutrients (just give them enough to keep the older leaves healthy), and
keeping them potted in small containers . This helps to keep them
relatively small. When I allowed them to take off, they grew too large for
75 gallon tank. In my 125, I had one fill 1/3 of the tank at which time its
size made it more difficult to keep less robust plants like pearl grass. If
they get more generous feedings, their leaves will float on the surface or
try to come out of the water in which case they dry up.