Floscopa scandens

Posted by on Jun 8, 2011 in All Categories, Plant Profiles | 0 comments

Floscopa scandens

Floscopa scandens has only recently been discovered as a species for planted aquaria. Its natural habitat extends from Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Oceania to Northern-Australia.

From the Latin flos – flower; scoparie – like a broom: a reference to the flower spike in some species.scandens = climbing.

Floscopa scandens Flower

Floscopa scandens Flower

This monocotyledon prefers wet to swampy habitats along streams and rivers.

When I received a few cuttings of Floscopa scandens in winter 2010 from H.G. Kramer, I was curious. Both habit and shape of this recent addition to the palette of aquarium plants are quite new and unique.

If any, the closest resemblance is with another Commelinaceae which we sell under name of AthraxonFloscopa belongs in the same family but is much bigger than Athraxon. It is almost never available in shops as its is not grown commercially in large quantities yet. Even among specialists it is a rare plant and its debut in aquascaping contests has yet to happen.

So, I wondered what I was to expect from this new and intriguing plant. My first guess was that this would be a specialist’s plant which would probably thrive in aquaria with lots of CO2 and soft water, in the company of ToninaEriocaulon etc.

Floscopa scandens growing submerged

Floscopa scandens growing submerged

As always, patience was required. Plant and wait is the name of the game. After two weeks, the Floscopa started to grow. At 25°C, in rainwater, blended with 5% of hard Münsteranian tap water, 25°C and around 35mg/l CO2 in a quite ordinary but densely planted Dutch style “Gezelschapsaquarium”. At first, growth was slow but it picked up quickly and after about 6 weeks I was able to cut and replant some of the tips.

The new cutting took root quickly and continued growing, while the stems which had remained produced several shoots at the leaf bases. I was surprised both by the medium but steady growth rate and the ability to produce numerous side shoots readily. After about 3 months I had a beautifully dense and rewarding stand of plants which looked absolutely beautiful. I am still surprised how suitable Floscopa is as an aquarium plant.

There is a striking resemblance with Tradenscanthia (which belongs in the same family), a well-known trailing house plant. I think this constitutes a real novelty among aquarium plants. I am sure that, due to its excellent use as an aquarium plant and medium to fast growth under normal conditions, this plant has a great career as a commercial species ahead of itself. It really isn’t the diva I suspected it to be at first but a reliable character with lots of charisma.

This plant is available in our shop as of June 16th 2012.

Copyright of images:

Image 1: Courtesy of Wild Wings and Swampy Things
Image 2: Stephan Mönninghoff

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