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Pistia stratiotes - Water lettuceMagyarul / Hungarian
Pistia stratiotes - Water lettucePistia stratiotes - Water lettucePistia stratiotes - Water lettuce
  • Scientific name: Pistia stratiotes
  • Common name: Water lettuce
  • Family: Araceae
  • Group: Aquarium plants
  • Max height: 10-15 cm
  • Distribution: Tropical and subtropical areas
  • Habitat: On the surface of slow-moving rivers, ponds and swamps.
  • Substrate: -
  • Placement in aquarium: Floating
  • Lighting needs: Bright
  • Temperature: 22-30°C
  • pH: 5,9-8,4
  • Hardness: 1-25 NK°

Description: Plant with very long, blueish black branched roots, usually floating on the water surface, on the edges of waterways and also anchored in the substrate during receding water levels.This common floating species is available both as an aquarium and a pond plant. In the aquarium, the leaves are 1.2-1.6 in (3-4 cm) long, but in an open environment they may reach up to 6 in (15 cm). The leaves are fleshy in appearance and have a covering of tiny hairs, giving them a velvety texture. Fine, trailinc roots are produced below the surface and these provide good shade from lights and hiding places for smaller fish. The aquarium should be either open-topped or have good ventilation, otherwise the leaves will become dried and damaged. An easy-to-care-for species.
This magnificent floating plant is regularly commercially available in spring and summer for use in garden ponds. P. stratiotes, however, can also find good use in the aquarium as a floating plant, but will remain considerably smaller there. It will develop best in highly polluted, nitrate-rich water and may produce rosettes with a diameter of up to 80 cm. The plants will prosper equally well in both soft as well as hard water and will even cope with a limited to medium light intensity. Warmth and intense lighting, however, will enhance the development of strong specimens.
Breeding with seeds is possible (store seeds in moist conditions). When keeping the plant in garden ponds, be aware that the plant is not hardy. Specimens from greenhouses, too, will recede strongly during winter because they then lack intense light.

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