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Re: Nitella

> Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 01:52:43 EST
> From: Kbrown528 at aol_com
> Subject: Nitella
> Hello All,
> Has anyone ever heard of this plant. I purchased a plant labeled that off of
> Aquabid and it looks nothing like the plant labeled that in Pablo Teapots
> book. At first, I thought the plant I have might actually be Umbrella
> Hairgrass but it isn't that. The person that sent it said it was similar to
> java moss but not quite as invasive and I had planned on attaching it to
> driftwood, but it is more like hairgrass in texture.
> Keith

They might not have gotten it correct. But there are several species of
Chara and Nitella. Most common is N flexilis.

The plant ID'ed as Nitella in that book is most likely N. tenuissima.
I have found it rather difficult to keep over the long term. It is common in
many shallow portions of lakes/ponds.

What you likely have is Chara. It has a distinctive foul odor(Shunk or
garlic). But it does appear like umbrella hair grass with internodes and
some branching.

I believe higher vascular plants evolved from Chara like plants.
Nitella and Chara are use for a number of experiments since they have huge
cells. The internodal "stem" between each whorl is a single cell.

Tom Barr