Madagascar Lace Plant Blooming

Remember not to put the word "help" in the subject of your post; the 
listserv interprets this as an administrative request.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 20:32:13 -0700
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
From: tmarch at primenet_com (Todd March)
Subject: HELP! Mad. Lace Leaf is blooming!?!

My Madagascar lace leaf, that was the most beautiful and healthy specimen
(approx. 12" tall) I have ever seen, is just entering it's sixth day in my
tank and is shooting up new budding leaves, and--

.. flower stalks that are racing for the surface at a rate of growth of
almost 1" per day! They look identical to the blooming stalks in "Aquarium
Plants Manuel" (Barron's).... The longest stalk s about 7" long and about
5" away from the open topped surface.

When I bought the plant last weekend, I examined it carefully, and there
were NO new budding leaves, and NO flower stalks--as well as no rotting or
decaying leaves.

I am hoping some of the Aponogeton experts here can tell me what all this
means and what I should do, as I am at a total loss...? I assume that the
plant is rather happy, but am wondering if blooming means the beginning of
the end--the dormant period; I doubt this as the plant has all of the new
leaves popping forth...?

And what do I do with the flowers when they open? I have only ever had
Aubias species bloom in my 4 month old tank. Do I need to pollinate them
with a paintbrush? And what exactely does this--"pollinate"--mean? Just
dust the flowers back and forth? And then what about the seeds? Will they
just drop into my tank, or should I remove them? Will they sprout? Do I
need to do something special to them for propagation? Could I just
carefully mail them off to other interested aquarists?

Forgive my total ignorance, but I am just WAY out of my league of
experience here... I just wanted to the darn thing to survive for some
months (which I was told, in all odds, wouldn't happen!)...


Todd March
"Aponogeton Ignoramus"
tmarch at primenet_com

Los Angeles, CA