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Aquarium Roots

Banana Plant (Nymphoides aquatica)

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This funny little plant is the first introduction many people have to aquatic plants. As “beginner” plants they are often put in a bowl with a goldfish or a Betta, and left to do their thing. This isn’t a good home for a goldfish, Betta OR a plant! They can survive for a while in a setting like this, because their banana-like tubers are storage organs for nutrition. Given good light and better nutrition, either through the substrate or feeding through the water column, the plants will remain attractive for a longer period of time. Unlike other Nymphoides species, they will keep their (juvenile) underwater leaves for a fairly long time. Only in shallow aquariums can they grow their adult floating leaves. And to produce flowers they need very bright light. Even under good conditions, however, the cute “bananas” are likely to rot or break off after a fairly short period of time.

Common Name:     Banana plant

Family Name:          Menyanthaceae

Native To:                South East USA

Lighting:                 Moderate to high

Requirements:         Easy in short term use,, harder to keep long term

Growth Form:          Tuber

Growth Rate:           Moderate

True Aquatic:           Yes

Placement in Tank:   Foreground interest

Available As:             Bare root