Aponogeton crispus

Common Names: Ruffled Sword Plant, Wavy-edged Sword Plant

Family: Aponogetonaceae (water hawthorn)

Location:  South-east Asia, especially Sri Lanka

This aponogeton is unlike other Aponogetons in that it will grow in either calm or moving waters.  It is also different because it does not seem to need the dormant stage that other Aponogetons seem to require.

This plant has long wavy looking leaves are light to medium green in colour.  The leaves can reach heights of up to 51.8 cm (20").  Aponogeton crispus can be rooted into gravel or be potted.  It is propagated by seeds.  This plant flowers in the aquarium.  It is a bisexual plant.  It is also capable of self-pollination; by which I mean that only one plant is necessary for viable seeds to appear.  Most aponogetons seem to need to be cross-pollinated with another plant of the same species.  Crispus can be crossed with other aponogetons.  An easy way to pollinate this plant is with a feather; paintbrush or something similar that is rubbed along the inflorescence (flower-stalk).  The flower can last as long as 2 weeks.  The flowers are small and can be white to pink.  The flowers run along the flower stalk for about 8-16 cm (3-6 inches).

This plant is best kept at temperatures of around 72-86 F (22-30C).  A pH of 6- 7.5 seems to be preferred.

I received two potted Aponogeton crispus and placed them into two separate tanks; one a 20 gallon and one a 30 gallon tank.  These tanks were filtered differently and I wanted to see what would happen in a current since I'd read that they would grow in that.  The first tank (20 gallon) is a bare-bottomed tank run with a Hydro sponge filter in the tank.  The temperature is approximately 79F (26C).  It has two fluorescent bulbs running overtop to provide light.  It is also close to a window.  This tank was the home to young Neetroplus nematopus at the time the plant was placed in it.  There is also a rather large Anubias barteri in that tank.  The 30 gallon tank is filtered by an Aquaclear filter.  It has a gravel bottom and a fluorescent canopy hood.  This tank is kept at 77F(25C).  This tank is home to Neolamprologus brevis.  Both of these tanks receive weekly-biweekly water changes of 30-40%.  I have not checked to see if there is a pH difference between these two tanks or not.  I know the water comes out of the tap at approximately 7.8.  Both plants grew well enough.  However the one in the 20 gallon grew a lot faster and nicer looking then the one in the 30 gallon tank.  Thinking I could cross-pollinate these crispus I placed both pots in the 20 gallon to see if I could obtain two flower spikes at the same time.  Eventually the second plant caught up to the size and appearance of the first one.  The tank was now home to several Ancistrus plecos and Thorichthys meeki fry along with a few Chalinochromis popelini fry that needed emergency quarters.  Nothing happened for the longest time except for some new leaves on both plants.  One day I noticed a 'leaf' growing that was thicker then the other leaves I had seen growing from these plants.  This was on the second plant originally kept in the 30 gallon tank.  This 'leaf' kept growing and continued above the water line and still kept growing.  The flower stalk as it turned out to be was approximately 24 inches long.  It developed small white flowers.  These flowers grew for 10” along the length of the spike.  I was hoping for a flower stalk from the first plant but it has not yet grown an inflorescence.  I had brushed my fingers along the spike as it had developed but no seeds appeared on it.  I'm hoping to get some on the next flower spike that develops in the tank.  I'd like to get some plants going from seed.  I think that it would be interesting to see how the plants start their life from the beginning.

© Copyright 1999- 2003 Lisa Boorman
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Suggested Reading:

Aquarium Plants : Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Karel Rataj & Thomas J. Horeman

Aquarium Plants Manual by Ines Scheurmann

To check other plant references:

Plant and Pond Book List

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