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Re: Marsilea quadrifolia .... a new plant!


>There are a few other species as well, one out of Florida is  varigated and
>sold as an edge plant for ponds. Marselia is a bog plant. Its natural growth
>is emmersed. The biggest market for the plant is pond use. The main problem
>I had with it was it loses it's "4 leaf clover" underwater usually retaining
>only one or two leafs per stem. It would also sometimes get rather tall, up
>to 4".  I was disappointed with it because I wanted the four leaf clover
>look. If you don't care about that, then I guess you won't be disappointed.
>Mine also grew extremely slow, under 4 watts/gallon.


The plants I am growing originally came from a pretty exotic source thus
may not be the same as the ones you have.   I am very certain yours didn't
come from my source and you didn't get yours from me.   Both the large form
Marselia (pictured) http://www.floridadriftwood.com/aquaticclover.jpg  and
the small form (not pictured) originally came to me with the same genus and
species name even though they are quite different.  As one can clearly see
from the photo I posted, the Marselia plant I have does very well
submersed.  Like many aquatic plants it has both a submersed and an
emmersed form depending on seasonal changes.  Therefore, both it's emmersed
and submersed forms are natural.  The mere fact the plant produces such a
specialized submersed leaf settles it.  Amazon swords of all types do the
same trick as do most stem plants so this is nothing new.  

The plants I have clearly produce a wide variety of leaf types submersed.
I see anywhere from the 1-2 leaf "glossostigma look" up to 3-4 leaves on
the submersed plants in the photo.  The aquarium you are looking at does
not have anywhere near 4 watts to the gallon and the plant is obviously not
4" tall.  My friends at our local botanical gardens say there are a lot
more than 3 sp. of Marselia most of  which cannot be grown submersed.
However, there are a few that do and do so quite well.   Please note, I
have yet to force the new form into emmergent growth.  Since the genus
Marselia is quite large, one should not assume that the plants they have
are the same genus.   I don't have the variegated version you mentioned
that you say is sold as a pond plant so I can't comment on it.   I suspect
it would turn out to be a strictly emmergent growth plant like that
variegated Giant saggitaria I encountered a while back.

Should also mention the Marselia quadrifolia plants grow more slowly than
glosso but it did not take hard work and several months to produce the
cover shown above.   It's a resilient plant and growth is much faster
(obviously) under Co2.    I highly recommend the plant as a low-light
alternative to glossostigma for all the practical reasons mentioned in my
previous post.  

Aquarium Plants & Driftwood