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Emerse Plants, Alternanthera, Nuphar

> From: Stephen Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>

> Yes, I'm very aware that many aquatic plants are able to grow emersed
> but I'm surprised to find that its a common practice of commercial
> aquatic plant growers.

> If I understand the physiology of aquatic plant leaves, the leaf forms
> which grow out of water are not very well adapted for growing under
> water. Is this not true? 

Yesbut... It's easier to transport and store the emerse forms from
grower to wholesaler, and most plants quickly drop their emerse leaves
and convert to the submerged form.  I agree that the downside I see
with this is that a lot of times someone buys a plant based on how it
looks at a store, and then finds it has totally different leaves after
a month or two.  Swords for instance.  Giant hygro.  But actually, I
find that most plants do OK converting to the other growth... they
have stored nutrients from their good days at the nursery.  It's the
second month after you get em home when they start feeling the strain
of the cruddy lighting, lack of CO2 and fertilizer. :)

> There are some emerse grown plants like Alternanthera which do not adapt
> well to submerged growth if grown emersed. I know this plant is commonly
> sold in aquarium stores that way and its not very good.

I think that Alternanthera is actually a different problem, which is
that one species A. sessillis is totally unsuitable for submersed
growth, while A. reineckii does well submersed, and I don't think they
actually sell emersed forms of it.  I have never heard of anyone
growing the former over the years (George, Paul K, etc).

> grown plants??? Perhaps we ought to be lobbying our supplies to stop
> this practice?? Or am I all wet here? ;-)

I suspect it wouldn't be profitable for those plants, or they'd cost a
lot more.  There's always hobbyist-reproduced plants (kind of our
equivalent to hobbyist-bred fish that have more color and spunk than
their wholesale counterparts). 

Going off-topic with that last paragraph, I would totally love to see
a grower or hobbyist sell pond lily (Nuphar) reproduced from seed, as
opposed to the ridiculous "lopped-off" tubers that rot away and die
within 3 months.  I'd pay real money for that.

  - Erik

Erik Olson				
eriko at wrq.com