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In north central Florida I collected from a creek a plant that from my copy
of Rataj and Horeman appears to be of the genus Hydrocotyle. From their
descriptions, which do not include a North American species, it appears that
I have either leucopetala or verticillata. In the book's description (p.
194) I would consider my plant to be verticillata, but I'm not sure.
Does anyone know of a North American species in this genus that occurs in
Florida? My book doesn't have pictures of each species covered.
My comments on the plant in the aquarium. I am in SC and I am keeping a
native tank with Elassoma evergladei and E. okefenokee, Heterandria formosa,
and Fundulus chrysotus. The usual temperature in the tank is 65 F this time
of year. The Hydrocotyle sp. has really taken off. I did not root it in the
substrate, but have left it "floating." At each node a dense root system has
developed and the leaf stems come from the nodes. The leaves seem healthy
submerged and above the water. The plant grows vigorously and the stems are
thick. Its introduction has transformed the behavior of the Elassoma sp.,
which are now very active and venture into the upper regions of the tank
instead of lurking in the substrate. I added Flourish iron supplement to the
water, which has a pH of 6.0-6.5, similar to the tannin-stained water at the
collection site. All the fish were collected with the plant.
I hope someone can enlighten me regarding this plant.
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