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Green Leaf Aquariums

Crypt Undulata (Cryptocoryne undulata)

Crypt Undulata (Cryptocoryne undulata)

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Identification & Conditions

  • Family - Araceae
  • Genus - Cryptocoryne
  • Distribution - Sri Lanka
  • Plant Type - rhizome
  • Light Requirements - medium
  • Placement - midground
  • Hardiness/Difficulty - moderate

Endemic to central Sri Lanka, Cryptocoryne undulata is found submersed in streams and rivers and emersed along river banks. Moderate care level, requiring soft to moderately hard water, low to medium light and regular fertilization. Flowers produced when grown emersed. Capable of growth in low light, but growth will be proportionately taller. Higher light and nutrient rich soil allow the plant to grow substantially, runners can grow and develop. The 'undulata' refers to the undulate or wavy edges of the leaves. Unlike other species of the Crypt genus, where the leaves grow tightly from a rosette, Crypt undulata has a small internodium, small space between leaf nodes. The lanceolate crinkled leaves vary in color from chocolate brown, olive green, or reddish-brown on the upper-side, and a rosy copper color on the underside. An excellent foreground to midground plant with leaves up to six inches. Its red contrasting leaves stand out in a green aquascape. Rhizome produces daughter plants, which can be propagated when leaves and roots develop, or left to grow attached with parent plant.

Understanding Crypt melt - all Cryptocoryne species require stable water parameter and light conditions. Once planted, crypts should not be moved. It generally takes up to 30 days for a crypt to become established. Within a couple days of planting, any significant change in temperature, pH, hardness, nutrient, light intensity or duration, or root disturbance may cause the plant to 'melt' and disintegrate to mush. If this occurs, the roots tend to live, and new leaves may appear within several days or weeks, sometimes months.