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  aquatic spathiphyllum
From: "Petra Schmidt" petra at plantdelights.com> on 2002.05.23 at 14:58:10(8859)
Hey Ron...there was a craze here in the USA, well, maybe just the Midwest,
with spathiphyllum plants being grown in huge glass jars...the kits were
sold by Walmart and included colored marbles for the jar, a beta fish and a
spathiphyllum...the roots of the spath grew down into the jar, kept the fish
fed and happy and the plant happy...these "arrangements" were seen in dental
offices, doctor's offices, bank lobbies, restaurants, and anywhere else you
could imagine; those who had one, loved them...
I have seen spaths offered in the water garden areas in garden
centers/nurseries and have seen them growing pretty much as emergent
From: "Harry Witmore" harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2002.05.23 at 16:32:18(8861)
Not just the Midwest. North Carolina had it's share also.

Harry Witmore

From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2002.05.23 at 16:33:58(8862)
Dear Petra and Ron,

Just to remember: Spathiphyllum gardneri (from Central Brazil) grows in
river banks and most plants are usually flooded during the rainy season. I
am not meaning a wet foot, but I am talking about completely submerged
plants (sometimes only infructescences out of the water) for a month or two.
In Amazonas state (Brazil), as well as in Venezuela, Spathiphyllum
cannifolium grows in full sunlight in swamps, together with Urospatha and
some Montrichardia. I have also collected Spathiphyllum humboldtii growing
submerged up to the middle of its petioles close to French Guiana. The same
situation in a potential new species of Spathiphyllum in Acre (I think Tom
is describing this one) that was growing in a completely swampy area. I
have never collected in Costa Rica or Colombia, but all Brazilian species of
Spathiphyllum I have seem are helophytes or rheophytes. In fact, I have
never seen a truly terrestrial Spathiphyllum in Brazil!

Best wishes,


From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.23 at 17:05:45(8863)
Thanks Petra!

"Betta in a Jar" sounds a bit like "Bird on a Wire" or zingy jazz combo.
Great idea, maybe I should do the same with Guppies "Guppies by the Gallon"
or other livebearers? Forget the romantic tropical stream running through
Eden! Thousands of jars in every room, NO potting...ever? Maybe "Platy
in a Pot" is the way to introduce Ireland to house plants & aquarium fish?

What I REALLY would like to know is which kinds will & which kinds won't &
why a proportion of waterlogged plants NOT in sand or compost at optimum
temperature etc objected. I had planned to rely on stream culture but
cannot take that chance yet.. I am trying various experiments to try to
ascertain why, so far, success is limited. So any observations on
waterlogging of any aroid might accelerate my finding solutions for the
Spaths. Please!

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.05.23 at 21:10:09(8865)
Hi Petra and Friends,

I was appaled when I saw this 'gimic' being sold at stores around here and
complained to management about them, they soon stopped selling these silly
things.. The plant AND the fish soon die, Betas are carnivores and only
live as long as their body fat will carry them, they can not and do NOT eat
roots. If there is no acess to the surface they also would drown (!) , as
they MUST breathe air every few minutes. The Spath does live for some time,
but it too will pretty soon expire in the clear water. One more silly
'gimic' to get your $$ at the poor fish`s expense (and the plant too!).
Spath. cannifolium does grow in the rich silt/compost on the side of
clear-water streams in Trinidad, VERY wet 'feet'.
Good growing all!


From: Alektra at aol.com on 2002.05.23 at 21:11:41(8866)
What I find very striking about this discussion is that I never knew that
Cryptocoryne could be grown terrestrially! I always thought it was solely

From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.24 at 08:14:13(8867)
Hi, Julius

Good to hear the concern from a seeming Member of the ASPCF but no offence
intended in my chuckles. Naturally I thought that when sold both fish &
plants would have full instructions for the welfare of both fish & plant but
it seems not so.

For those who may not know the species, male bettas, (brilliantly coloured),
are so aggressive towards other males they have to be reared on their own
anyway. In my fun I had assumed that as air breathers they had access to
the water surface, that the temperature was optimum & that they would be
given a diet as befits a carnivore, that the jar was big enough & the plant
roots.maintained good water quality. With room for a female the roots
might provide haven for her from his most aggressive attacks after mating.
Like the guppies which first gave me my lasting love of tropical fishes, it
seemed to me that "Betta in a Jar" might evangelise that wonder for

For my Spathiphyllum it would be wonderful to synergise plant & fish culture
& others. Please folks can you share your experiences on which I can base
further experiments? And especial thank you for the observations so far of
wild Spathiphyllum living partly or wholly in water.

Apparently one of the few health hazards of Spathiphyllum is Cylindrocladium
causing root & basal petiole rot in seemingly waterlogged substrate which
to me is a paradox. From my reading it appears to be prevalent mostly in
hybrids especially in Florida at temperatures above 85F & maybe in Holland?
I assumed that many or most Spathiphyllum would grow well with their roots
in suitably warmed aerated water. Immersing samples of common hybrids in
various lab experiments, ALL of them rotted. So how do folks suggest they
& other "willing" potted aroids can be re-established to grow emersed in

I would like to keep both fishes & plants together best in an Irish Tropical
Eden please & request all the help I can get? To me ponds, streams &
waterfalls, & fauna, bring gardens even more to life. Maybe a lot of us are
subconsciously seeking to re-create our own visions of Eden?



From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.24 at 08:15:54(8868)
Hi Mr. Alektra (Sorry you have me at a disadvantafe, I don't know your name)

You wrote -

What I find very striking about this discussion is that I never knew that

From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.24 at 08:17:26(8869)
Dear Eduardo!

Thank you! Your observations were most motivating for my further
experiments! Especially "I have never seen a truly terrestrial
Spathiphyllum in Brazil" WOW! that is REALLY something. Not even species
of Section Amomophyllum which is for me most beautiful? How about the
"velvety" S. floribundum & its close species/sub-species?

I wonder just how many aroid species can be BETTER cultured emersed, it
might make cultivation so much easier &, wit fishes, exciting?

The Best


From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2002.05.24 at 20:31:41(8876)
Hi Ron,

Well, my two forms of S. floribundum are truly terrestrial, but I have
never collected them in the wild! My plants are from cultivated origin, so I
collected them in a plastic pot...



From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.25 at 21:40:07(8878)
Hi Eduardo!

Sorry, S. floribundum & its relative(s) seem to be from Colombia not Brazil?
I assume both are common house plants even in Brazil? Certainly, amongst
the loveliest of the genus but they like very moist well drained soil. So,
what happens if you gradually immerse them in swamp or stream conditions?
Are they common in Nurseries in Brazil? Are Spaths grown terrestrially or
sometimes as helo/rheophytes in Brazilian horticulture?



From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.26 at 11:54:04(8883)
Spathiphyllum cannifolium seems often reported as an emersed or
intermittently submerged aquatic. Could its growth in full sunlight be
made possible by the thick leathery leaves? Surely the thin leaves of
Section Spathiphyllum species would not tolerate full sunlight?

I have just re-read Deni Bown's magnificent Book & note the aquatic aroid
genera. ANY supplementary observations would be hugely interesting & help me
to find out how those aroids adapt to being fully emersed..

Below is a provisional list of Spathiphyllum species.

Does anyone have ANY habitat & environmental observations please?

Section Massowia (K. Koch) Engler
S. cannaefolium (Dryand.)Schott
S. commutatum Schott
S. laeve Engler
Section Amomophyllum (Engler)
*S. bariense Bunting
* S. cuspidatum Schott
S. floribundum (Lind. et Andre) N.E. Brown
S. floribundum var(?) ex Cali, Colombia (new species?)
S. fulvovirens Schott
*S. gardneri Schott
*S. gracilis Bunting
*S. jejunum Bunting
S. juninense Bunting
*S. kalbreyeri Bunting
*S. lechlerianum Schott ???
*S. liesneri Croat
*S. maguirei Bunting
*S. mawarinumae Bunting
S. minor Bunting
*S. monachinoi Bunting
*S. monachinoi var. monachinoi Bunting
*S. monachinoi var. perangustum Bunting
*S. neblinae Bunting
S. patinii (Hogg) N.E. Brown
*S. patulinervum Bunting??????
*S. perezii Bunting
S. quindiuense Engler
*S. schomburgkii Schott
S. silvicola R.A.Baker
*S. sipapoanum Bunting
*S. tenerum Engl
Section Dysspathiphyllum Engler
*S. humboldtii Schott
Section Spathiphyllum
*S. atrovirens Schott
S. blandum Schott
S. brevirostre (Liebm.) Schott
S. cochlearispathum (Liebm.) Schott
S. friedrichstalii Schott
S. grandifolium Engler
S. kochii Engler & Krause
S. lanceaefolium (Jacq.) Schott
S. matudae Bunting
S. ortgiesii Regel
S. phryniifolium Schott
S. wallisii Regel
S. wendlandii Schott
Section Chlaenophyllum
*S. solomonense Nicolson
Sectional affinity unknown:
*S. schlechteri (Engl. & Krause)

For the starred species, does anyone have live material too in their
Collections, please?

Goodwill to All


From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2002.05.26 at 19:56:30(8884)
Dear Ron,

Yes, S. floribundum is from Western Colombia and Panama. This species are
not common in nurseries in Brazil. In fact, you can see only S. wallisii, S.
ortgiesii and S. cannifolium in Brazilian nurseries, that are really
deceptive! My plants came from a friend that obtained his plants from
someone a long time ago. No idea from where they came, but they are beauties

From: "Kathy Kempf" wont_read101 at hotmail.com> on 2002.05.27 at 09:06:05(8888)
I have grown one of these arrangements for the past 18 months. Plant is to
be kept "bare root" inside the jar, with roots submerged. After 18 months,
crown went from a single to 9. Roots not completely submerged get tough,
but healthy. Submerged parts of roots are pliant, develop feeder hairs
which are eaten by the beta (fish food must be added to keep fish healthy).

A similar species that is a new acquisition (since January) is Syngonium
'Neon'. I was advised to keep it in moist soil in a high humidity. Being a
devout propagator, I separated the crowns and put them in a variety of
growing situations: as advised, in lower humidity, and growing in a pot that
was 1/3 submerged in water. The latter proved the favorite: plant developed
multiple crowns, growing luxurious. Plant in lower humidity has many brown
areas on leaves. Plant grown as advised not as big or as many new crowns,
but OK. I am going to attempt it this summer as the spathes (bareroot in

From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.27 at 18:25:13(8898)
Thank you Kathy. Hopefully each public & private bit of information coming
in will make up a meaningful bigger picture. I hope to find out why in
Ireland (but not in UK) I have so far failed to grow Spaths submerged. I
will report back if I find out


From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.27 at 18:27:04(8899)
Thank You again Eduardo

Indeed, S.floribundum forms are to me the most beautiful of the genus but
for fragrance maybe S. commutatum I had flowering freely in UK but not
mature enough here.


From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.05.27 at 21:02:37(8902)
There was an error in my message. It should have read "I have so far failed
to grow Spaths EMERSED". I have no cultural need or wish to grow them
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