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Re:Re: Pygmy Chain Swords Not so Pygmy

> If the leaves are that long, they may not be the true pigmey chain sword,
> E. tenellus.  They are probably E. bolivianus or E. quadricostatus.  E.
> tenellus comes in two varieties, a light green wider-leaved variety and a
> dark green narrow-leaved variety.  Both varieties usually produce a turf
> with leaves less than 6 inches long.  Brighter light keeps the leaves
> shorter.  when the plants get really crowded, the leaves tend to get
> longer, but when they are not crowded, the leaves are only 2-3 inches

This has come up before, and I think I have said this here before, but
tenellus, bolivianus, and latifolious, are all pigmy chain swords most
always grown commercially emersed, where they are 6 to 8" tall. When you buy
these plants mail order or even from a store, most likely they will always
be grown this way. After you plant them, the new growth has adapted to being
submersed and will be much shorter. Eventually all the tall growth dies off
and is replaced by the much shorter growth. These commonly available pigmy
chain sword species all look very simular and typically have leaves shaped
like blades of grass and about the same thickness. The exception is the very
thin blade tenellus, that some people call Red tenellus. The blades are so
thin they are almost hair like. I rarely see this variety available
commercially, but several people on this list grow it.  It usually only
reaches a height of around 3", and under bright light will take on a slight
reddish hue...very slight.

quadricostatus is also called Cuban chain sword, and has a distinctive spoon
shaped leaf that comes to a point at the end. Its usually only 3 or 4" tall
even with emersed growth.  Another way to see that your commercially bought
tenellus is emmersed grown is if it has the seed pods on top. Looks like a
cluster of little bells.

If you buy tenellus potted instead of bare root, it may be  shorter and it
is most likely grown hydroponically, which still needs to adapt to submersed

>>> I gave
> up and switched to two other species of sword plant that do stay short -
> echinodorus parviflorus <<

There are actually two species of E parviflorus, and only one is dwarf.
Parviflorus sp also called black amazon, gets quite large. Only  E
parviflorus var tropica, "rosetta sword" stays small for a full sword, 6 to
8" tall. For a while I was selling this plant which a Florida Aquatic
Nurseries distributor was lableing as a tropica sword, but considering its
size I dont think it was the true var tropica dwarf specie. Only when I
started importing the true specie did I see plants that stayed small. I
understand it is more common and popular in Europe than in the USA, and the
European plant producers have info about it on their WEBsites.

Robert Paul Hudson
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