Hottonia palustris

Botanical Name : Hottonia palustris
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Hottonia
Species: H. palustris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Habitat : Hottonia palustris is  native to wetland areas throughout Europe, where it is threatened, endangered, or extinct in certain parts of its range.

Description:
Hottonia palustris is a pinnate-leafed aquatic plant.  It is usually found growing totally submersed except for the long flower spikes each bearing a set of light purple flowers.
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This plant has a stem reaching up to 80 cm in height. Its basal roots are buried in the underlying mud while other silvery, shiny roots dangle freely in the water. The leaves are deeply divided as far as the central vein, like the teeth of a double comb, and are completely submerged, but if there is a drastic fall in the water level they can surface. The leaves are alternate or connected to the stem in more of less regular whorls. Flowers from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, Cleistogomy (self-pollinating without flowers ever opening). The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation:  Naturally a bog / marsh plant and most plants sold have been grown emerse and need to be submerged in stages in the aquarium to encourage it to adapt and form submerse leaf forms. Can be kept in the cool or tropical aquarium. Give a good substrate, light and if possible additional CO2. Can be grown in or around the pond. Considered a good oxygenator for the pond and its bushy leaves provide protection for fish and fry. Can be grown floating as well. Sunny spot.

H. palustris is a moderately difficult plant to grow, requiring strong lighting, cooler water, and a steady supply of nitrate and phosphate through the water column. Lighting should be intense (3 watts per gallon or more) to prevent the lower portions of this plant from melting away. Do not allow this plant to become shaded, or it will slowly decline! CO2 additions greatly enhances the health and vigor of this plant. Cooler water below 80 degrees Fahrenheit stimulates faster growth, larger stem diameter, and general good health. NO3 and PO4 should ideally be kept above zero (even more ideally, above 5 ppm and 0.5 ppm respectively). Lack of adequate amounts of nitrate will result in puny, yellowish growth while lack of adequate amounts of phosphate will result in the darkening and gradual decline of the plant.

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H. palustris, when under optimal growing conditions, is a very fast grower that puts forth an abundance of side shoots. Pruning can be done by either snipping off the tops and leaving the bottom portions in place or planting only the top portions. However, the former pruning method will produce the bushiest growth. Propagation can be performed by trimming off the aforementioned side shoots and replanting them in the substrate.

This plant can be pruned to create a distinctive midground bush in an aquascape, where its pinnate, snowflake-like foliage forms an excellent contrast with other plants. It is often used in Dutch style layouts.

Medicinal Uses:
It is often used as a medicinal herb.Flower Essence: Helps you to develop warmer relationships with others when your pride or independence makes you appear aloof.

Other Uses: Although relatively uncommon in the aquarium trade, it is used extensively as a decorative plant in ponds.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hottonia_palustris
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=42
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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