Limnophila hippuridoides (Ambulia aromatica, Limnophila aromatica, Purple Ambulia)
Difficulty: Moderate to Easy
Size: 10– 50cm in height, 5 to 10cm in width
Position and Usage: Midground to background placement
Growth rate: Moderate to fast
Lighting: 3/5 – 5/5
Water Conditions: 15 - 30°C
CO2: Not required - useful
Propagation: Basal shoot growth; cuttings
Limnophila hippuridoides (Ambulia aromatica, Purple Ambulia)
Native to Southeast Asia, Limnophila hippuridoides (sometimes called Limnophila aromatica) is a beautiful, colorful species with slender leaves and dense and quite stunning dark red to purple foliage. Specimens will grow vertically, often with distinctly crooked, outward-leaning shoot tips that are unique and extremely attractive. They are a relative to Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora) which is known for being very attractive and one of the easiest, most rewarding plants in the hobby. L. hippuridoides - also known as "purple Ambulia" is a bit more demanding in terms of lighting and slower growing but not by much. You can definitely keep it in a low teck tank without CO2 and it will thrive.
L. hippuridoides is a very distinctive looking background plant that we can highly recommend to hobbyists of all skill levels. It adds quite a lot to a background with its stand-out coloration and uncommon leaf shape. You will definitely not be disappointed!
Purple Ambulia can be propagated through clippings of the solid side shoots found at the base of the plant. Like most stem plants, you can also cut off the stem and replant the top part. The bottom will grow side shoots after removing the tops and the plant will become bushier. We recommend rimming off the oldest and longest stems of a cluster in order to promote new sideshoots grown from the base of the plant.
L. hippuridoides is relatively adaptable and will tolerate medium light well. CO2 is not required at all - but you do need enough light.
For high tech tanks, intensive light and CO2 supplementation will encourage a deep red to purple coloration that can be quite extreme at the top. This results in one of the coolest looking plants in the hobby.
Substrate and water column fertilization will promote both plant health and deeply-hued coloration. Though it is technically a stem plant, Limnophila hippuridoides does develop an extensive root network and benefits greatly from nutrients in the substrate.
If you are looking for a background plant and want something just a bit more unique, this plant is for you! Perfect for beginners and advances hobbyists alike, it is one of our favorite plants for creating a beautiful, lush background.