Cryptocoryne crispatula Engler var. flaccidifolia N. Jacobsen

It is not always easy to identify Cryptocoryne crispatula var. flaccidifolia. The difference with C. crispatula var. balansae it more or less a matter of the width of the leaves, and as there is some natural variation in nature one could discuss which name is appropriate. That means that only the extremes are named. Both have soft, waving leaves, adapted for submerged growth, with only the spathe coming out of the water. Up to now the plant is only known from peninsula Thailand, N Vietnam and S China.


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A dense mat of C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia in peninsula Thailand.
coll. NJT 02-04
photo Jacobsen
Between the cascades, the water level in the rivers is also in the dry season rather constant.
coll. NJT 02-09
photo Jacobsen
A slowly running river in S China ...
coll. Zhou 0504-3
photo Zhou
... with C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia
coll. Zhou 0504-3
photo Zhou
       
A collection of spathe's from the peninsula Thailand.
coll. NJT 02-04
photo Jacobsen
C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia from China growing - nearly visible - sheltered between the boulders.
coll. Zhou 0603-1
photo Zhou
Two different colour forms growing near to each other.
coll. Zhou 2010-03
photo Zhou
The kettle from the China C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia.
coll. Zhou 0603
photo Zhou
       
Low water and the banks falls dry. The leaves may survive.
coll. NJT 02-04
photo Jacobsen
The flaccid leaves of a submerged growing plant.
coll. NJT 02-04
photo Jacobsen
In emerged cultivation the plant has shorter, rather stiff leaves. The limb of the spathe (of this specimen) has only a few line markings.
coll. NJT 02-04, cult. B 898
The opened kettle showing the male (top) and the female flowers (bottom).
coll. NJT 02-04, cult. B 898
       
Herbarium specimen (sterile) of C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia from China.
coll. Zhou 0504-3
Aquarium picture of C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia
coll. unknown, cult. Gasser
photo Gasser
An emerged grown C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia showing the soft, down bent leaves.
coll. unknown, cult. NJ 2984
photo Jacobsen
Distribution of C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia. As the differences with var. balansae are relatively small, probably a couple of older collections must be added to var. flaccidifolia. Moreover the area is not fully researched.
       

C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia is a good aquarium plant. Plants sold in the pet shops as C. retrospiralis probably all refer to C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia.

For reference to the other plants and the literature see the page on the crispatula-group.

Updated July 2012