Cryptocoryne crispatula Engler var. tonkinensis (Gagnepain) N. Jacobsen

This species from northern Vietnam (the former Tonkin province) is imported rather often from Thailand, but nobody knows exactly where it grows (except the exporter of course) and there are no recent data of its habitat.  Neither are there records on cultivating Cryptocoryne crispatula var. tonkinensis in the aquarium. This species is characterized by the short, more or less  narrow, smooth, soft leaves. Both in submersed and emersed cultivation it is not an easy to cultivate species. There are very few pictures available. To compensate for that you see a couple of herbarium specimens, collected by Balansa in Vietnam. It is not known if the habitat near mount Bavi in the Ba river still exists.

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Herbarium specimen of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
coll. Balansa 2043, 29 Nov. 1887
herbarium Leiden (NL)
Herbarium specimen of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
coll. Balansa 2043, 29 Nov. 1887
herbarium Leiden (NL)
Herbarium specimen of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
coll. Balansa 2044, 8 February 1887
herbarium Leiden (NL)
Herbarium specimen of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
coll. Balansa 2044, 8 February 1887
herbarium Leiden (NL)
A emersed cultivated specimen of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
unknown locality
photo Jacobsen
A flowering plant. Note the tiny leaves and the relative huge spathe.
unknown locality in Thailand
photo Jacobsen
Young plants with broader leaves.
unknown locality in Thailand
photo Jacobsen
Flowering plants. Note the strong twisted limb of the spathe.
unknown locality in Thailand
photo Jacobsen
Imported plants showing the very narrow, soft leaves
unknown locality
photo Basia
The leaves get some help to grow upright in emersed culture.
unknown locality
photo Basia
A cultivated plant of  C. crispatula var. tonkinensis.
unknown locality
photo Basia
Distribution of C. crispatula var. tonkinensis. The question marks refer to an unknown site in Thailand from where the today cultivated specimen come from.

These plants may have a seasonal rhythm (see also for C. crispatula var. sinensis f.e.), growing submersed in the river during high water level and drying out on the banks at low level for months. The plant flowers and survive with new small leaves. Balansa's collections were made between November and February, the dry period in Tonkin. It is not known how the plants are in submersed condition.

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

Updated January 2006