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Growing Aroids in Planted Ripariums

  • Subject: Growing Aroids in Planted Ripariums
  • From: Devin Biggs <dbiggs@xantusidesign.net>
  • Date: Thu, 01 Oct 2009 22:07:52 -0400

Hi All,

I have had a few years of experience growing plants in ripariums, an apparently new style of planted aquarium that features emergent or marginal aquatic plants. Of 
the various kinds of plants that I have used, aquatic and semi-aquatic aroids stand out as being especially attractive and useful for creating these decorative 
displays. I have a few recent pictures of my 65-gallon tank, which includes a handsome dwarf taro, Colocasia fallax, as a centerpiece. Here is a full-tank shot of this 
setup:

http://hydrophytesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/26-ix-09-tank-montage-i-m.jpg

This C. fallax is in fact a recent cultivar named 'Silver Dollar' that I acquired from Plant Delights Nursery ( http://www.plantdelights.com/ ) last spring. I also have 
the regular species C. fallax, but 'Silver Dollar' seems to grow somewhat larger. It is such a pretty plant. Here are a couple more pictures showing that specimen:

http://hydrophytesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/scratch-colocasia-i.jpg
http://hydrophytesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/scratch-colocasia-ii.jpg

This riparium setup also incorporates as background plants a sweetflag, Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'. I understand that sweetflags are no longer classified in Araceae, 
but they are presumably close in evolutionary and in their own group, the Acoraceae. Here is a good-sized 'Ogon' in a riparium planter:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3392/3444184940_9bd5cfe085_o.jpg

Acorus gramineus is another excellent riparium plant. I have tried a few different wetland grasses and sedges in ripariums, but most either grow too large or develop 
messy, ratty foliage in riparium conditions. Sweetlflags, on the other hand, have tidy leaves that arch gracefully into the layout midground and evoke a grassy 
riverbank appearance. Here is another picture that shows this pleasing growth habit well:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3586/3451291827_65d98c1c26_o.jpg

Asiatica Nursery recently listed several "new"--these include "old and very rare classical cultivars"--A. gramineus selections, 'Cava', 'Isuzugawa', and 'Kin Gin Chu 
Ya'. These plants are right at the top of their aroids page (Available from: 
http://www.asiaticanursery.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.viewCategory/catID/73/index.htm ). I might have to add these to my collection, because I am fond of 
sweetflags.

Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed searching for water-loving aroids and growing them in my ripariums. I have additional observations for a number of different 
plants and five other riparium setups that I can relate here too.

Cheers,

Devin









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