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Re: Alternanthera sessilis underwater
Several months ago there was some discussion about whether or not
Alternanthera sessilis would grow underwater. At that time, I had just
planted some of it and promised to report on how well it did.
It really doesn't do well at all underwater, even with extra CO2. Although
my plants didn't die, they hardly grew at all, with about half of the old
leaves falling off and the new leaves clasped tight to the stem and not
expanding more than about 5 millimeters. After two months one stem
reached the surface, and then started fairly rapid above-water growth with
normal looking leaves. In about three weeks it grew 8 inches, while, in
contrast, the underwater plants had no visible growth during the same time
period. The fact that the above-water portion grew so rapidly indicates
that nutrients were in good supply. The water was clear, and therefore, the
below-water plants got almost as much light.
My experience confirms Kasselmann's recommendation that this species be
used only in a paludarium.
Paul Krombholz Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS 39174, in
Jackson, Mississippi, where it got up to 97 yesterday, the air conditioning
where I work is dead, and the scattered showers are still appearing
somewhere else, usually just to the East.