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Diodia cf. kuntzei

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This plant became known in the aquarium hobby under the name Hygrophila sp. “Pantanal” and was likely offered in Japan first. In Europe it is still a little known rarity. This stem plant has nothing to do with Hygrophila but belongs to the genus Diodia in the Rubiaceae family, thus it is a relative of woodruff and coffee tree

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Diodia cf. kuntzei

This plant became known in the aquarium hobby under the name Hygrophila sp. “Pantanal” and was likely offered in Japan first. In Europe it is still a little known rarity. This stem plant has nothing to do with Hygrophila but belongs to the genus Diodia in the Rubiaceae family, thus it is a relative of woodruff and coffee tree. It is likely the south American species Diodia kuntzei, however its reliable determination is still pending (therefore the “cf.” in the name). Diodia cf. kuntzei has strong, straight, upright stems; the lanceolate, opposite leaves are curved downwards and show a nice reddish colouration under strong lighting.

Until now little is known about this new plant, but apparently it is not too difficult to grow. However we recommend rather strong lighting, a good CO2 (20-30 mg/l) and nutrient supply and rather soft water. Also a nutrient-rich substrate such as Aquasoil is surely beneficial. As well as other stem plants, this Diodia is propagated by stem cuttings. Its growth rate is moderate. Diodia species are primarily terrestrial and swamp plants; also this Diodia grows well in its emersed form and should also be suitable for paludariums.

This stem plant is relatively large, as the shoots may get about 10 cm wide, however with its narrow leaves and thin stems it has a quite delicate texture. It looks well as a group in the midground and should also be suitable for planting a “plant street” in Dutch style tanks. As a plant that apparently comes from the Pantanal wetland in South America, it is also interesting for biotope aquariums and paludariums with plants and fishes from the Pantanal region.

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