Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Size: 8 – 40+ cm in height
Position and Usage: Midground to background placement
Growth rate: Moderate
Lighting: 2/5 - 5/5
Water Conditions: 22 - 28° C; pH of 6.5 to 7.5
CO2: Not required
Propagation: Rhizome division; runners
Special Requirements: Iron-rich substrate
Known also as the ‘Spiral Water Trumpet’, Cryptocoryne spiralis is a ‘primitive’ Cryptocoryne variant native to India. It is distinguished by a septum (a wall or partition) that closes the kettle (the lower, cylindrical part to the spathe), a feature not seen in any other Cryptocoryne variant. True to its name, C. spiralis has slender foliage that may grow in loose, vertical spirals. The yellow-green leaves will thicken when specimens are planted in isolation and narrow when specimens are planted in groups. Regular pruning and/or thinning will keep this plant at its finest.
While C. spiralis is a hardy species less prone to rot than most, tank conditions should be kept stable as this plant’s sensitivity to rot may be increased when shocked. Cryptocoryne species should not be moved once planted as they can take up to or over a month to recover. When healthy, C. spiralis will propagate through runners. The rhizomes can be divided and replanted if further propagation is desired. CO2 supplementation and high intensity lighting are not required but will encourage vigorous growth.