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[APD] Re: Terrestrial plants sold as aquatic plants

Andrew McLeod wrote:

> I thought true aquatics were the plants that did not take up any nutrition
> through the substrate, but most aquarium plants weren't? (please correct the
> numerous errors in my beliefs).

That would be the most restrictive definition I've heard.  It would eliminate
most of what we usually regard as aquatic plants -- even obligate submersed
plants like many Vallisneria and Elodea species.  I don't think there is a
clear-cut definition for what an aquatic plant is.  Botanical books on aquatic
plants ("Aquatic plants of North America" and the like) usually include
anything that grows in or near water whether or not it is ever submersed.

As far as Spathiphyllum are concerned, I have no problem classifying it as a
terrestrial plant that should not be sold for aquarium use.  It grows poorly
(at best) under water but far better out of water.

The worst case I've seen of terrestrial plants being sold for aquariums was in
a local mall petstore.  The only thing I ever bought there was a prayer plant
(I don't remember the scientific name -- a vining tropical plant with
prominent veins on oval red and green leaves that fold up at night) still in a
3-inch standard nursery pot and plopped into a tank.  I knew it wasn't
aquatic, but I bought it for a paludarium.  It wouldn't even grow with it's
roots in wet soil.   Since then it has been praying in a pot in an east-facing
window and doing just fine.  Very seasonal, though.

Roger Miller
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