Shinnersia rivularis – Mexican Oak Leaf
Shinnersia rivularis (A. Gray, 1849) R.M. King & H.E. Robinson, 1970
Common Names: Acorn Hygrophila, Water Oak, Sombrero Fern, Loop Leafed
Rotala, Fajita Plant, Yucatan Hygro, Acapulco Rose or Acorn Val.
Family Asteraceae - sunflower family
It appears to be the only species in its genus.
Location: Mexico, and a few spots in Texas. (e.g. San Felipe Springs in
Del Rio two locations in Texas and a few more in northern Coahuila and
northern Nuevo Leon)
Temperature: 18-30°C (64-86°F), pH: 5.5-8.5 (but prefers acid
Nutrients: not required, but will like some added fertilizer
Propagation: Place cuttings into substrate This plant will root freely.
Ponds: Can go into ponds but do not plant over 1m (3ft) deep.
Description: This is a stem plant, very similar to Hygrophila
polysperma. The plant gets its name from the fact that the leaves are
somewhat oak leaf shaped. The leaves are sort of lobed on both
sides. Each side has 2 lobes. Leaves are not big being only 1-1
½” long and up to ¾” wide. When the plant reaches
the surface it grows differently. The leaves grow in a bunch and become
somewhat roselike. The lower part of the plant is a light green.The
upper leaves tend to become reddish. It has flowers on white heads
usually above the water.
This is a very fast growing plant. As such, it needs a fair amount of
upkeep. If you want to keep your plant under the water, then you need
to trim it regularly.
I got this plant at the fall Kitchener auction. It was actually
the only item we bought. When we came home, this plant was placed into
a 20 gallon tank that I kept my Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi in. There
was also 2 female Pelvicachromis taeniatus and a few white clouds. The
bottom was covered in a light coloured small gravel. The tank is lit by
2 fluorescent tubes. The plant didn’t like being in the bag and I lost
a fair amount of leaves from the Shinnersia at first. Some end up
floating as pieces broke from the stems that got pushed into the
gravel. However, once they’d been in the aquarium for a month or
so, they began to grow very nicely. New leaves came out and the stems
started growing. Some are trying to grow out of the water. As the tank
is not covered, I don’t have a problem with this, and would like to see
the “roses” that they can create. This plant has more than
doubled for me, and soon I can start putting some in our auction, or
giving them away.
© Copyright 2007 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved
Plants : Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Karel
Rataj & Thomas J. Horeman
Plants Manual by Ines Scheurmann
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