Cryptocoryne spiralis (Retzius) Fischer ex Wydler var. cognatoides (Blatter & McCann) Yadav, Patil & Bogner

In 1993, Yadav, Patil and Bogner described C. spiralis var. cognatoides. Until then C. cognatoides was a mystery plant resembling C. cognata with - in the common opinion - little chance to be found back in the Western Ghats of India after its discovery in 1917. When it was recollected, it proved to be C. spiralis. Most striking is the giant spathe. The leaves may reach up to more than 60 cm.

Click on the picture to get the full image (ca 50 k)

An open, marshy area with big stands of C. spiralis var. cognatoides.
photo Yadav
In the wild, the spathe is as long as the leaves.
photo Yadav
The limb of the spathe is almost smooth, in contrast to var. spiralis.
photo Yadav
A red limb of the spathe.
photo Yadav
       
Open area where Mariska te Beest found C. spiralis var. cognatoides.
photo te Beest
Big plants growing in a ditch.
photo te Beest
C. spiralis var. cognatoides grows deeply buried in the soil (the white parts of the petiole). Note the strong contractile roots.
photo Yadav
Variation in colour and size of the limb. The smallest ones cannot be distinguished from var. spiralis.
photo Yadav
       
C. spiralis var. cognatoides grows easy and flowers frequent in cultivation. A dormant phase is never obeserved. The spathe easily reach a length of ca 30 cm.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
The plant does not make runners. After a 15 year period in cultivation, it was only recently that the rhizome thrived two new plants. By that reason it is one of the most rare Cryptocoryne in cultivation.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
The spathe with the typical denticulation along the margin is with it kettle 2 - 3 cm deep in the ground.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
The lower part of the limb has transverse ridges inside, mostly reddish. Note the very long spadix and the constriction in the upper part of the kettle.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
       
Note the typical septum, a transverse wall with a hole between the kettle and the limb. Apparently there is no tube, as usual in Cryptocoryne.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
The kettle may be a bit reddish inside.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
When the male flowers are removed, one can clearly see the alveoli in the wall of the kettle.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
There is no favour for a left of right handed twist. Even for the same plant (as usual in Cryptocoryne).
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
       
The female flowers at the bottom of the kettle have more or less lobed stigmas.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
The fruit is almost a perfect sfere. At ripening the peduncle elongates and brings the fruit above the surface. Artificial pollination.
coll. Yadav 327, cult. B669
Drawing of C. spiralis var. cognatoides in Te Beest (1998)
drawing te Beest
Distribution of C. spiralis var. cognatoides.
       

For more comments and literature, see the page of the spiralis-group

Updated December 2013