Staurogyne repens

By: Claus Christensen

Staurogyne repens (more about it here) is a fresh green, compact and hardy plant for the foreground of the aquarium. Its nearest relative in the aquaristic is Hygrophila but Staurogyne repens is different with its marked compact, low and bushy stature and small green leaves.

In 2005, we received this plant from an aquarist and later, also Tropica visited the habitat of Staurogyne repens. Here, Staurogyne repens grew on rocks in the River Rio Cristalino in Mato Grosso in the southern Amazonas. DNA analyses reveal that Staurogyne repens is closely related to Hygrophila which is also present in South America.

Staurogyne repens is a fresh looking green plant with stiff brownish stems. The leaves are relatively small as compared to the Hygrophila genus, in particular, when under water. Staurogyne repens also grows somewhat slower than the known species of Hygrophila. The sales pot resembles that of Hygrophila with upright stems but Staurogyne repens also have several horizontal stems produced at the basis of the plant.

It is particularly under water that Staurogyne repens differs from the known species of Hygrophila. Staurogyne repens is suitable for the foreground and middle ground of the aquarium. During planting in the aquarium, the longest upright shoots should be cut off and each pot should be divided into 2 to 4 pieces which are then planted close to each other in a small group. The emergent leaves will eventually die-off when under water and these may also be removed during planting. By doing so, the low compact growth form is maintained. In the aquarium, Staurogyne repens develops new horizontally creeping shoots from the plant basis which soon form a beautiful carpet. The ability makes it an ideal plant for the foreground.

Tropica produces Staurogyne repens from tissue culture and it is available in pots as well as in 1-2-Grow! cups.

Staurogyne repens is a strong and vital plant that prefers medium to high light and supplement of CO2. Staurogyne repens also requires some fertilization. A combination of a nutrient rich substrate (Tropica Plant Care Substrate or Aquarium Soil) in addition to supply of micro nutrients (Premium fertiliser) is necessary in order to maintain the fresh green colours of the leaves and constant, covering growth. In case the vertical shoots have been removed prior to planting, it may take months until further trimming is required. At that time, new vertical shoots may be removed on a weekly basis.

Staurogyne repens is apart from being an excellent foreground plant for the planted tank also very suitable for nano aquaria because of its slow and creeping growth and hardy nature.

Have some good time with Staurogyne repens.