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Mermaid Weed – Proserpinaca palustris

October 1st, 2008

Proserpinaca palustris is a plant that I have long sought after, but only have recently started growing. The funny thing is that it’s actually a native plant where I live, but it’s not a plant that’s often kept by aquarists. The most interesting thing about this medium difficulty plant is the vast difference between its emersed and aquatic forms.

Proserpinaca palustris Emersed

Emersed, the plant exhibits leaves that look a little bit like rosemary, except with serrated edges. Submerged, however, Proserpinaca palustris looks like a totally different plant. The leaves are saw-toothed, being much more ornate than your typical Myriophyllum or Ambulia.

Proserpinaca palustris Submerged

Under intense light, these leaves can actually turn bright red. Proserpinaca palustris should grow under most conditions, but the bottom most leaves will melt away except until moderate light conditions. The advantage I see in Mermaid Weed compared to Ambulia or Myriophyllum is that it grows much slower, while the others tend to overtake your tank. I’m really enjoying this plant, and hope to use it extensively in one of my future aquascapes.

3 Responses to “Mermaid Weed – Proserpinaca palustris”

  1. Phillip Brown Says:

    I’ve heard of it, but never actually seen it before. Thanks.

  2. octopus.gallery Says:

    I got a bag of this from the Aquafest auction yesterday and I’m looking forward to trying it out!

  3. Another one of those plant ID threads... Says:

    […] take this pic…. http://www.guitarfish.org/2008/10/01…naca-palustris And insert it into the middle of one of the stems the OP posted. Best way I can describe […]

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