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Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf”

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This uncommon grass-like plant was brought onto the market in Asia under the name Eriocaulon sp. “Japan”, however, in the hobby, several different Eriocaulon variants are known under that name. For better identification, this plant is thus called Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf” in Europe, however, it is not known yet whether this plant is truly found in the wild in Japan

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Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf”

This uncommon grass-like plant was brought onto the market in Asia under the name Eriocaulon sp. “Japan”, however, in the hobby, several different Eriocaulon variants are known under that name. For better identification, this plant is thus called Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf” in Europe, however, it is not known yet whether this plant is truly found in the wild in Japan, and whether it belongs in the genus Eriocaulon at all. What can safely be said is that it does belong in the family Eriocaulaceae (pipewort family) as it as the typical flowerheads with many tiny flowers.

Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf” grows in very well in our tanks, with soft water rich in CO2 and acidic substrate rich in nutrients (Aquasoil), at a temperature of approx. 21-26 °C. However, we have found out that the plant also tolerates medium-hard water. Up to now we have hardly had any problems with its cultivation. The creeping, short, hard rhizome branches readily. After some time, the plant forms a large, dense grassy bush that can be divided into many adventitious plants for propagation. The submersed leaves are flexible, dark green and smooth. They grow to a length of approx. 30-40 cm and to a width of only 1.5 mm. The leaves are distichous, which means that they grow in two rows on the rhizome – quite uncommon for an Eriocaulon. Sometimes, young leaves get stuck when sprouting and are somewhat “wrinkled” in the beginnig, they straighten out later on though.

Under water, the flowerheads will sprout adventitious plants. In shallow water, the flowerheads will grow above the waterline, whereas the leaves remain submersed.

With its elegant grasslike leaves, Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf” is an interesting alternative to other narrow-leaved plants like Vallisneria nana or Helanthium bolivianum “Angustifolius”. Unlike these, it does not form runners and is thus easy to control in an aquascape. We sell single plantlets. As we cultivate this plant in our own tanks, where we also propagate it, we can offer small numbers of premium quality Eriocaulon sp. “Japan Needle Leaf” from submersed cultivation.

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