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Cardamine lyrata - Chinese ivy, Japanese cressMagyarul / Hungarian
Cardamine lyrata - Chinese ivy, Japanese cressCardamine lyrata - Chinese ivy, Japanese cressCardamine lyrata - Chinese ivy, Japanese cress
  • Scientific name: Cardamine lyrata
  • Synonym: Nastourtium japonicum
  • Common name: Chinese ivy, Japanese cress
  • Family: Cruciferae
  • Group: Aquarium plants
  • Max height: 30 cm (sometimes 40 cm)
  • Distribution: Asia; China, Japan, Korea
  • Habitat: A marsh plant, populates meadows, moors and flooding areas. It exists on the edges of standing or flowing waters, where it invades the water and develops into a submersed form.
  • Substrate: Plain washed gravel
  • Placement in aquarium: Middleground, foreground
  • Planting density: 2-3 plants for 20 cm2
  • Lighting needs: Bright
  • Temperature: 15-22°C
  • pH: 6-6,5
  • Hardness: 4-12 NK°

Description: This unusual plant can be placed in the foreground, even thouch it reaches up to 14 in (35 cm) in height. It has a messy appearance and unusual leaf shape and often looks best when planted in small groups of three or four stems in between smaller, low-growing foreground plants. At higher temperatures and without adequate lighting, leaf growth may be stunted and stems will become weaker. Ideal conditions include a low temperature, bright lighting, and a pH of 7- 7,5. The plant is sensitive to many chemicals and does not do well in very soft water.

This tender plant, often commercially available, is in the long run suited only for cultivation in cold-water aquariums or garden ponds. The plants can, however, temporarily survive higher warmth (up to 27 °C) without incurring any damage; then, though, smaller leaf blades and longer internodes will always develop, which is less decorative. Shoots can best be used in a sunny location, emersed in the marsh zone or submersed and floating in the shallow water of a garden pond. Propagation is through lateral shoots and seeds which are thrust from the siliqua.