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Hydrocotyle Species


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.

Thank you.

Dick Norwood
Columbia, SC

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