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Re: [APD] Aquatic and/or Non-aquatic Plants
Thanks for structuring such an interesting definition and explanation. I
also like the personal story about the orchids and the blueberries, you
might have the "new Flavor On The Block" here. sounds good.... Anyways,
Sorry about the orchids death, I think it was good thing as orchids develop
into a sickness that is never cured, soon you are knee deep in the
everglades looking for the Ghost Orchid , (The Orchid Thief by Susan
Thanks for the fun to read your post,
----- Original Message -----
From: <jppurchase at rogers_com>
To: <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 12:56 PM
Subject: [APD] Aquatic and/or Non-aquatic Plants
> >From the flurry of recent posts concerning just what is or is not an
> "aquatic" plant, or what, if any, distinction should be made with regards
> "aquarium" plants, it looks to me like some people overdosed on chocolate
> over the Easter weekend and are just a tad over excited.
> Relax people.........its O.K.
> This topic is of great interest to me and I have spent much time (and
> scientific books can get expensive) over the past few years looking into
> for answers. There most definitely ARE definitions used by professionals
> identify plants as aquatic or non-aquatic, and very specific terms
> to those types of plants. But there are many plants commonly used within
> aquarium hobby which don't fit the scientific definitions for "aquatic"
> plants, as well as many which ARE aquatic but are totally unsuitable for
> Big deal...
> For the most part, we are hobbyists, not professional botanists (with of
> course, a few notable exceptions) and we "garden" in our aquariums and
> ponds. We will try to grow pretty much anything that will survive and/or
> grow on, in, or under water. The operative term here is "grow". There are
> many plants which in Nature find themselves either with wet feet on a
> seasonal basis or totally submerged during the rainy season, but will they
> "grow" in an aquarium or a pond situation? Many plants will survive
> underwater for short periods of time, but they won't do much in the way of
> actually growing while submerged. Others may grow slowly but won't flower
> and set fruit and/or seed until conditions dry out. Are any of these
> aquatic? Probably not, but yet we continue to use some of them
> in our aquariums.
> I prefer to consider a "true" aquatic plant from the aquarist's
> as one which can complete its life cycle while it is either totally
> submerged or growing as an emergent with its roots in water.
> Christopher D.K. Cook, in his "Aquatic Plant Book", which was written to
> cover every aquatic plant in the world at the level of family and genus
> doesn't get down to the species level in very many cases, except to give
> number of aquatic species within each genus), makes no mention of the
> genus Spiranthes, other than to say that some species can tolerate short
> periods of flooding. Kasselmann covers two species of Spiranthes, S.
> graminea, from Arizona, Mexico and Guatemala and S. odorata, from the
> eastern and southeastern United States. To her credit, Kasselmann uses the
> term "marsh plant" for both species and highlights the fact that neither
> truly "aquatic".
> I have been familiar with the genus Spiranthes since I was a child growing
> up in eastern Canada. My mother used to take me blueberry picking in the
> late summer and, as anyone familiar with that plant and its delicious
> berries knows, blueberries love to grow on dry, sunny hillsides, not close
> to water. I fondly remember seeing the occasional spiral stem of tiny
> greenish white flowers, sticking up above the blueberry bushes. My mother
> called the plant "Nodding Lady's Tresses", and I have since discovered
> their scientific name is C. cernua, a name used by Kasselmann as a synonym
> of S. odorata. The plants which grew in the blueberry fields back home had
> pleasant vanilla-liquorice aroma, and were surprisingly tasty when eaten
> with a handful of blueberries (I was a kid, I would eat anything...). But
> never thought of it as an aquatic or marsh plant. Heck, I didn't even know
> that it was an Orchid.
> Years later, I happened to find a plant for sale in an aquarium store
> "Water Orchid". The salesman told me that it was an aquatic Spiranthes
> orchid. I bought it, put it in my aquarium and slowly watched it drown and
> die. Oh well, live and learn (at least for me........ the poor orchid on
> other hand wasn't so lucky).
> Another plant which has seen use in aquariums, and the object of
> here on the APD, is the Red Mangrove, Rhizophora mangle. It is not
> at all in either Cook nor Kasselmann, yet I grew them successfully in an
> aquarium for several years until they became so big I had to get rid of
> them. Granted, they grew right up and out of the water, becoming miniature
> trees with only their roots and lower stems in the water, so their use as
> aquarium plant is limited, at best. But I'd still refer to them as
> So, I don't think its all that important to us as aquatic gardeners
> or not a particular plant is considered a "true" aquatic or is simply an
> opportunist, capable of adapting to whatever situation it finds itself in.
> James Purchase
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