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RE: Cyperus helferi

Richard Rajski asked about Cyperus helferi:

>Does anyone on the list have any experience of growing Cyperus helferi ?
>I've not been able to find much info on it and some of it is contradictory.
>In the Tropica Catalogue (very useful book, great illustrations and photos)
>it describes it as a difficult plant, while on the Tropica website it is
>described as an easy plant !
>Also, can it be propagated easily ? All help gratefully recieved.

Several months ago I picked up a pot of this species (sourced from Tropica).
There were a number of plants in the plastic mesh pot, and I removed both
the pot and the rock-wool prior to planting it in a clay pot with a few
handfuls of sandy mineral topsoil topped off with a layer of quartz gravel.
I didn't try to separate the individual plants, just put the whole clump
into the clay pot.

It has been doing well enough in Toronto tap water, in a 20 gal high tank,
getting a modified PMDD (sans trace elements) whenever other plants in the
tank appear to need it (this is one of my "holding tanks"). Lighting is dim,
from a suspended twin tube fluorescent fixture, but the tank also receives
plenty of daylight from a nearby window. I don't supplement CO2 in this
particular tank. There is a lot of current (circulation) in the tank and it
is quite attractive, waving about in the water.

The plant is growing, slowly, but definitely growing. Compared to other
plant species in the same tank, all planted at around the same time, it is
certainly the slowest growing of them all, except perhaps for Cryptocoryne
parva (which hasn't done much of anything).

The illustration of C. helferi in the Tropica catalogue shows the plant with
flowers above the water line. Mine has not flowered, at least not yet.
Again, according to Tropica, it appears to benefit from CO2 additions. Maybe
I should get another 2-liter Coke bottle going...

Hope this helps.

James Purchase