Re: E. Horemanii flowers

>From: DIONIGI MALADORNO <MALADORD%A1%RNISD0 at mr_nut.roche.com>
>1) do these flower stalks grow very quickly? If I remember well I had in the
>past an A. madagascarensis which shortly after purchase sprouted a flower
>stalk which grew several inches per day. I hope it will not grow this fast,
>since I would like to see it when I will be back home.
No, Echinodorus flowers do not grow as fast as Aponogeton flowers.  You
shouldn't have to worry about missing the blooming if you are away for less
than 10 days to two weeks.

>2) if indeed flowers will be produced, is there anything I can try to have
>them fertilized? If seeds can be obtained, would the turned-glass-over-the
>- -bottom be a reasonable system to grow new plants? I wonder if, since I do
>not have really sunny windows, I might not have the proper conditions for
>emersed growth.
I got the book, Wasserpflanzen, by Kasselmann, and am struggling with the
German text.  I am only beginning to be able to puzzle out a few sentences,
but I am pretty sure that Kasselmann says that horemanii should be the
species, uruguayensis, and that it has a red form, a green form, and a
narrow-leaved green form.  I think she says that it produces flowers
poorly, or with difficulty on a short day, but better on a long day.  She
says that it is one of the few large swords that does not produce in the
aquarium floating or aerial leaves. (I am pretty sure about my translation
of that last statement.)

I have the red form and the narrow-leaved green form.  These have wandered
about my low-light (two 40 watt T-12 fluorescents), low tech (no CO2
additions) 55 gallon.  They have produced new plants from time to time from
their rhizomes, but have never bloomed.

Last June I cut out four one-inch portions of rhizome from the red form and
one portion of the green narrow leaved form rhizome that already had a 4
inch plant on it and moved these into my 75 gallon, where they were the
only plants.  Here, they had 4 40 watt T-12's, 15 hour days, and CO2
additions.  With the stronger light and additional CO2, I wanted to see
whether I could get blooms.  The green form got a big jump on the red form,
because the latter had to grow as buds from the rhizome pieces, and it was
a month before I saw any growth at all on the rhizome pieces.  Also, the
green form appears to grow faster. It's leaves reached the surface in about
a month, and sometime in August it suddenly switched to producing floating
leaves with stems three to four feet long, contradicting what Kastlemann
said. The floating leaves have blades that are 10 to 12 inches long and 3
to 4 inches wide.   Now this plant dominates the 75 gallon aquarium with
about 15 floating leaves and more on the way. Only a few of the floating
leaves are in direct contact with the air.  The rest have a twist in them
that ensures that the entire blade is under the water, instead of flat on
the surface.  The plant would really like a tank about 5 times as big.  If
it had all the room it wanted, I estimate that its floating leaves would
cover a circle with a diameter of 7 or 8 feet.  No flowers have appeared
yet, but I will give it a few more months.  I can't remember if Kastlemann
said that the flowers could be fertilized, but I know that she has a
picture of a uruguayensis flower stem with lots of small adventitious
plants.  You probably will be able to get seeds by transferring pollen
around with a small paint brush, since most swords are not sterile or
self-sterile.  Very likely, you should get 10 to 20 little plantlets from
the stalk.  Some time I want to take my monster plant out of the tank to
give the red form, whose plants are now about 6 to 12 inches high, the tank
to itself to see if it will flower or produce floating leaves.  I don't
know what to do with the monster when I take it out, since it is much too
big to take to a tropical fish store.  Maybe I can hack all the leaves off
and get it to produce some smaller submersed leaves before taking it in.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In pleasant Mississippi.(High temps less than 90 degrees F.)