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Re:Scarlet Hydrophilia

     * From: "Colleen McGuire" <colleem at rcn_com>

Hi all, I have been lurking on the list for a while..absorbing all 
the information passed two and fro. Being snowed in today, I have 
been catching up on my research on plants.  I have come across the 
Alternanthera sessils or the scarlet hydrophilia. I do like this 
plant alot, but the website that I found this on (Arizona Gardens) 
states that it is mainly a terrarum plant, but many use it for 
I was wondering if any one has had any experience with this plant. If 
you could give me feedback on the cultivation of this, it would be 
greatly helpful. (Also a general idea of how high it grows would help 
too). Thank you.

I have had experience with Alternanthera sessilis, and it is not 
suited for underwater growth because it is not able to produce normal 
leaves, only very reduced leaves tightly clasped to the stem.  If 
planted underwater, most leaves will eventually fall off, and the 
stems will grow very slowly, only getting food from photosynthesis in 
the stem.  Eventually, the stem will break the surface, and then 
start forming normal leaves and resuming a normal growth rate.  There 
are other beet-red plants that are much better suited for underwater 
growth, such as Ludwigia glandulosa or some of the red varieties of 
Alternanthera reineckii
Paul Krombholz in warm central Mississippi, watching my snails clean 
up the last of a BGA outbreak.  My ramshorns have grown to monster