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Re: rootless hornwort and Aponogeton flower stems

Art Urban wrote, Jan 14:

>...I have recently added Hornwort and Anacharis to my planted
>tank, and both are doing *great*, which pleases me to no end.
>However, I also have some of the Hornwort floating in another
>breeder and have noticed that no roots are forming on this
>plant. So my question is, do Hornwort and/or Anacharis put
>down roots, or are they free-floating plants?
>On a similar note, can I trim these plants by cutting them
>to a desired height? They have both reached the top of the
>tank, and then some...

Hornowrt (Ceratophyllum) truly has no roots, but when growing wild it is
well anchored in mud by its lowest stems and leaves.  Anacharis (now
Eigeria) does form roots, and your plants should have started to grow them
if they are doing well.

Both plants can be trimmed, but unless your light is quite strong, they
will grow back to the surface rapidly.

>Wade Shimoda wrote, Jan. 14:

>....After about 2 months of flowering, we have an aponogeton that has begun
>dying back.  The last three flowers it produced since it started to die
>back have had a short section (about 1") of their stems near the water
>surface that is very distorted.  It's bumpy and is slightly larger in
>diameter than the rest of the stem.  On one flower, the distortion
>created a bend in the stem.  The flowers looked normal, but the seeds
>never developed to maturity, although they did grow a little.  Prior to
>this, all the other flowers (there were at least 10) produced seeds that
>have since sprouted.  No other changes have been noticed in the other
>plants (amazon sword, red sword, vallisneria), except for our madagascar
>lace plant that decided to revive itself after being dormant for about 2

The bumpy, slightly larger part of the stem next to the flower sounds
normal to me.  Aponogetons often have the largest diameter part of their
stem next to the flower, and often it is bumpy.  Often there is a bend
there that functions to hold the flower out of the water.  I don't know why
seeds didn't form if they did on earlier flowers.  Since you said the plant
is starting to die back, perhaps it is conserving energy by not developing
seeds even if fertilized.

Paul Krombholz, in soggy, cloudy Madison, Mississippi