Common name: Water pennywort
Overview: Commonly called as water pennywort, Hydrocotyle verticillata belongs to the pennywort family and is popular among aquarists because of its unique shape and pattern of growth. It is native to warmer and shallow water regions of North and South America. Hydrocotyle verticillata is a creeping plant and bears a resemblance to mushroom or clover fields. Grows naturally in marshes and waterbeds that is not too deep, this creeping plant is best suited as a foreground plant in aquariums. This versatile plant can also be grown as an indoor plant if the soil is kept moist. Hydrocotyle verticillata is a fairly undemanding plant and only lighting intensity plays a pivotal role in its optimum growth.
Appearance: Hydrocotyle verticillata is characterized by it’s stunted growth, creeping in nature and umbrella-like leaves that bear a striking resemblance to mushrooms and green toadstools. It is, therefore, best suited as a foreground plant in aquariums. A runner plant by nature, it exhibits a similar growth pattern even when submersed. It grows to a maximum of 1- 4 cm in height.
Hard/Soft plant: Soft plant and fragile in nature. Aquarium hobbyists are suggested to use docile and calm species of fishes in tanks growing Hydrocotyle verticillata so that they do not damage the leaves.
Ideal Water temperature conditions: Hydrocotyle verticillata prefers warm tropical temperatures between 20 and 27 degree Celsius.
Optimum pH level conditions: The recommended pH range for Hydrocotyle verticillata is between 6 and 7.8 with water hardness dGH between 4 and 18.
Ideal lighting conditions: One of the most important aspects of the optimum growth of this plant is lighting intensity. Hydrocotyle verticillata thrives when exposed to strong light. The height of this aquatic plant is inversely proportional to the lighting levels. While using in aquariums, strong lighting bulbs are highly recommended to facilitate its attractive shape as the lack of it will result in stretched scanty growth.=
Advantages and functions:
1) Hydrocotyle verticillata has a plethora of medicinal benefits. Widely used in Chinese, Ayurvedic, alternative and folk medicine worldwide it is used to treat the common cold, hepatitis, influenza, typhoid, heal wounds and abscess, muscular dystrophy, etc.
2) It has antioxidant, antitumor, antiproliferative effects, which helps in treating liver problems.
Did you know?
Hydrocotyle verticillata propagates easily by cutting the runner into smaller segments having at least one leaf with a pair of sharp scissors and then replanting them in the substrate.