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[APD] Java Fern

Robert H. wrote:

I have sold the plant to or experienced myself the plant
reverting its shape. It seems to be a true variant. Karen Randall has stated
there are two types of narrow leaf Java fern, tall and short. This
distinction however is not made by Oriental Aquarium.

There are actually quite a number of narrow leafed varieties. I use the term "varieties" with caution, because it is not clear whether all "Java ferns" are the same species. There are a number of species within the genus Microsorum. At this point we don't know how many tolerate long-term submersed conditions. Tropica has quite a few different narrow leafed forms in their R&D area, but only a few so far have commercial potential. Some only grow emersed, some are too finicky. Others are just too similar to the ones already available. Unlike 'Windelov' and 'Tropica', these thin leaved types are all wild collected material.

I suspect Oriental doesn't make a distinction because they only sell one form. Their book, like Tropica's, is also a catalog of the plants they produce and sell.

Chrys wrote:

That's quite skinny!  So, there are how many kinds of Java Fern that
we know of now?
Java Fern
Java Fern "Windelov"  - Fringy leaf tips
Java Fern "Tropica"     - Fringy leaf edges
Java Fern "Narrowleaf"  -Skinny leaves
Java Fern "Phillipine"    -Pebbly surface

Have I missed any?

There are MANY types that do not have specific names. The "normal" Java fern on the west coast is different from the "normal" Java fern on the east coast. What we think of as regular, old fashion, large Java fern here is quite large, with broad wavy leaves. The type that is prevalent on the west coast is just as tall (perhaps a shade taller) but has narrower leaves with a straighter edge and a flatter surface. Even more notable, while most Java ferns (not the really narrow ones) throw tri-lobate leaves as they mature, the west cost "regular" type throws many more, so each leaf looks like a sword with a hilt.

Then there is the old fashioned small Java. This is most likely a different species, but is as yet not identified. It has been in the hobby for eons. The leaves are only 4-5" long, and I have NEVER seen one become tri-lobate, even on stands that are 10 years old. It is likely that there are other ferns out ther waiting to be collected too.

Wouldn't it be an interesting project to do a
low tech or low light tank with only different varieties of Java Fern?

Lots of people used to do this.<g> Many fish keepers still do.

I've done a tank with only Regular and Windelov.  Would combining
these affect things like losing characteristic traits?

No. Both of these are stable varieties.

Would these
varieties all cross after a while of growing in one tank, to form one
generic "Java Fern-esqe" plant?

If you sexually propagated them, I suppose there is that possibility. But hardly anyone sexually propagates Java fern, and if they do, they do it on purpose, and for the experience. Not simply to produce more plants.


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