The easiest Eriocaulon plant. Absolutely stunning and extremely rare, this plant looks like an underwater succulent. Unlike more delicate Eriocaulon species, this plant can be kept thriving under a wider variety of conditions and makes an amazing centerpiece for any tank, big or small, to build an aquascape around. Turns reddish in high lighting.
Difficulty: Moderate to demanding
Size: 6 x 6cm typically; may grow up to 10 x 10cm
Native Range: China
Position and Usage: Foreground to midground
Growth Rate: Slow - Moderate
Lighting: 3/5 – 5/5
Water conditions: Prefers softer water and temperatures of 20 - 28°C
Propagation: Vegetative, new plants bud off mother plant and large well established mother plants can be split in 2 or 4 new plantlets.
Special requirements: Magnesium enrichment, root tabs, CO2 necessary if tank is deep, can be used without CO2 if the plant is ~6 inches or less from the surface.
Although these plants are aquatic members of the pipewort family, Eriocaulon can be grown semi-immersed and are perfect for vivarium habitats. When submersed, they make an incredibly unique addition to the foreground of a tank. However, they are very demanding root feeders and tend to form surprisingly extensive root systems in fertile, soft, or fine sand-like planting media. They can be helped along by planting in nutrient-rich substrates or by planting a slow-release nutrient root tab beneath the plant. They need high lighting to establish and root properly, without which newly planted specimens may simply “melt away” while established specimens may cease to grow and atrophy at their core. Such decay can be reversed if consistent, high lighting is restored. No other plants should be allowed to grow over your Eriocaulon lest they block or filter light. Eriocaulon leaves are delicate and, without clean water and circulation, may become clogged by debris and algal growth. Magnesium enrichment will delay leaf die-off, although outer leaves will naturally yellow and die as they are replaced by new growth at the central core. This plant can be replicated by dividing the mother plant in half using a sharp razor blade to produce two daughter plants. However, as these plants are extremely delicate, this procedure is not without risk. Eriocaulon can also reproduce by producing flowering buds on stalks. We recommend clipping buds if they emerge, as the mother plant usually dies after reproduction.