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Re: Echinodorus and Stem Plants

>Date: Fri, 04 Apr 1997 11:02:32 -0500
>From: krandall at world_std.com
>Subject: Echinodorus, Osmokote and Stem Plants
>Subject: Echinodorus
>>   I was going through my swords yesterday (seperating daughter plants 
>>and re-planting.)  At any rate, all of the older, established swords had 
>>a thick 'woody' mass at their bases, about the size and shape of a 
>>peanut.  Could they be storing nutrients, or is this something else?
>>(In that vein, do swords ever go dormant like Aponogeton?)
>These do seem to be a nutrient storage organ.  I don't know if they ever go
>_completely_  dormant like Aponos, but they certainly sometimes start to
>die back, and it has been found that if you uproot them, snap out this
>woody "corm", they will start putting out leaves again with renewed vigor.

Conversely, if you remove the plant and leave the woody part attached to the
substrate, one or more new sword plants will emerge from it.  This can also
occur if you cut off it off and leave it in the aquarium -- it may also
sprout new plants ( if it is big enough). This is the way I have been
reproducing Echinodorus horemanii. This woody thing is called the rhizome
(often called a corm when it is small). For the hoemanii, the rhizome is
very dense and will stay on the bottom. In other Echinodorus species it may
float (Rataj/Horeman book says this true for E. maior and E. osiris. Any one
have this experience?) 

Rhizomes store food for the plant, and can store a lot. My horemanii has
very large rhizome(s) attached. Consequently, it has been thriving for years
and years, has put out dozens of new plants and appears to grow continuosly
despite a lot of neglect and long periods with little amounts of N and P. 
Can a botanist (or any one else) elaborate further on rhizomes?

>Subject:Stem Plants 
>In the spirit of questioning "truisms" int the planted tank, here's one for
>you.  Over and over I hear the advice to strip the bottom leaves off of
>stem plants befor planting so that they don't rot in the substrate. [snip]
> I _do_ remove any damaged or rotting areas on the stems
>before planting.  Has any one had any problems leaving leaves on the lower
>part of a stem that could really be attributed to this and not some general

I never bother stipping the bottom leaves before planting. Sometimes I
wonder where these truisms come from. Another reminder that just because you
read it in a book, it ain't necessarily true!

Neil Frank      Aquatic Gardeners Association         Raleigh, NC
      The Aquatic Gardener - journal of the AGA -  now in its seventh year!!