Common names are Java Fern and Siamese Sword Fern (this particular variety is also known just by Windeløv)
Java fern is found in the Tropical Southeast Asia.
This variety is Java Fern is named after Holger Windeløv (owner of Tropica Aquarium Plants) The plant divides at the top of the leaf into two branches, and often into two more branches after that. It's like someone took a regular Java Fern and gave it alot of fingers. This plant has a very unique look to it.
Microsorium pteropus (normal form) is a fern that grows to about 8 inches tall. The leaves are light green on a creeping rhizome. Windeløv rarely reaches 20 cm (7.8"). Java fern grows better on wood and stones than in the ground. If they are planted do not bury their rhizomes in the ground. M. pteropus is an adventitious plant . Older leaves form sporangia on the lower side of the leaf which resemble black spots. This means that new plantlets start growing on parts of the parent plant. Windeløv develops adventitious plants at the leaf margin just like the regular form of Java Fern. It can also have its rhizome divided as a way of propagating it. The recommended requirements for M. pteropus is a temperature of 68-82 F with a pH of 5.5-7.5
I received this plant from a fellow hobbyist and not having a proper spot for it placed it in a 20 gallon tank that contained Altolamprologus compressiceps in it. I left it floating since there really wasn't anything to attach it to. It always seems to get caught behind the airline on the sponge filter. The tank is kept at 78 F with a pH of around 7.8. There is a double flourescent over the tank and some outside daylight from a window nearby for light. At one point during a water change I got a bit careless and accidently caught the plant in my python and it broke into 2 pieces. Both pieces have grown quite well since then and didn't even lose any leaves from the original break. I like the looks of the original form of Java Fern. However, I think I prefer the rather unique look of the Windeløv variety better. I'm hoping to propagate this plant even further.
2000-2003 Lisa Boorman
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To check other plant references:
Plant and Pond Book List
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