Bolbitis heudelotii

Family:Aspleniaceae or Lomariopsidaceae (finger fern family)

As far as I know there are no common names.

Bolbitis heudelotii is found from Ethiopia to South Africa.

Bolbitis heudelotii is a fern that can grow to about 20 inches tall in the wild but generally only gets to about 8 inches in the aquarium.  In nature they grow in the spray zone of rushing streams.  The leaves are emersed except during the rainy season, when they are completely submerged.  The leaves are dark green on a  creeping rhizome.  Leaves are somewhat brittle.  They have the appearance of a terrestial fern.  That is; the leaves are lobed and pinnate (meaning that they branch out from the stem).  It grows best if it is attached to a rock or to wood.  If you do plant them make sure not to bury the rhizome as it will rot.  This plant propagates by side shoots on its original rhizome.  It can also have its rhizome divided as a way of propagating it.  The recommended requirements for B. Heudelotii is a temperature of 72-79 F  with a pH of 5.8-7.0.

When I received this plant I immediately placed it in my 25 gallon tank.  I placed an elastic around it carefully, as it was brittle, and attached it to a large granite rock.  After about 3-4 weeks I carefully removed the elastic.  It grows slowly but it has more than doubled its original size.  The rhizome has grown on both ends.  It has not branched off as some other rhizomes do when cut.  This tank is kept at 79 F with a pH of 7.2 and has a single fluorescent light with a lot of floating plants, so not much light gets into this tank in the lower levels.  I find that this plant makes a great accent piece.  It also gets a lot of attention from people who look at the tank for the fish in it.

© 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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