Pistia Stratiotes is a genus of aquatic plant in the arum family, Araceae. The single species it comprises, Pistia stratiotes, is often called water cabbage, water lettuce, Nile cabbage, or shellflower.
The ruffled and ribbed leaves of the Water Lettuce, along with the light green and blue colors, will add beauty and texture to your water garden. As a compact version of water lettuce, this plant prefers some shade to direct sunlight. Like many floating plants, it will provide shade and shelter to the koi living underneath, and will also keep water clear of algae. This plant will do best in water temperatures of at least 65 degrees, and will not endure through cold or freezing water.
Water lettuce can propagate both sexually and asexually, though sexual reproduction is exceedingly rare in the home aquarium. The flowers are tiny and are located at the center of the plant. Each plant will only have either male or female flowers. If successful fertilization occurs, a small, many-seeded green berry will form.
Asexual reproduction is far more common in the home aquarium, and smaller daughter plants will form floating beside their mother plant, connected by a short stolon. When they reproduce with this method, they can form dense mats, and it’s important to not let them completely cover the surface of an aquarium. If they do, they will prevent light from reaching other plants, and can even suffocate the fish beneath them.
When these plants are first purchased, they will often have numerous dead, yellow leaves. These leaves should be removed before adding the plants to the aquarium, ensuring the plants is primed for rapid growth. It will often start out slowly, but will begin to spread and grow very fast when mature.
|Temperature:||59 - 82.4°F(15 - 28°C)|
|pH Range:||6.0 - 7.5|
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