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Re: Aponogeton crispus

     Merle McCartney <mccartmg at wmvx-mail_lvs.dupont.com> asked about A 
     > Can I pollinate from one spike to another on the same plant?
     My understanding is that you need two A crispus to pollinate. Other 
     Aponogetons (like the lace plant) can be self-fertilized. Some can be 
     successfully fooled by mixing pollen from another Aponogeton species 
     with their own pollen.
     > What's the best way to pollinate?
     I've not been successful with either A crispus or madagascariensis. 
     The procedure is simple; transfer the pollen with a fine brush. The 
     flowers need to be above water. If the stems get long enough and there 
     are enough surrounding plants for stability, the stem will raise the 
     flower spike above water on its own. Laying the stem across the rim of 
     the tank seemed to damage the stem. Perhaps someone else can relate 
     their experiences. 
     > The flowers are butting up against the glass, which is less than 
     ideal, I'm sure.  Will the heat from the lights (a pair of 20w 
     fluorescent bulbs on a 38h tank) be a problem?  
     Possibly. My flower bulbs tend to turn brown and die before the seeds 
     mature. I suspect they might require high humidity such as an enclosed 
     paludarium or green house or similar facility. I use MH lighting and 
     this tends to be a little too strong for some types of plants above 
     the surface. OTOH, Ludwigia and Bacopa don't mind it at all. 
     Alternanthera has not done well emersed for me; don't know why.
     > do these plants require a resting period over the winter?
     A crispus don't need to be removed from the aquarium although they 
     sometimes seem to go through growth phases. I tend to attribute these 
     to varying conditions in the tank especially crowding and nutrient 
     availability so I can't be sure if they do or do not have a cyclical 
     growth pattern. They certainly continue to be viable plants over 
     several years.
     Steve P. in Vancouver