I was just reading an article on vallisneria taxonomy! What great timing. If I understand correctly, there are three species of vals that are common in aquaria: Vallisneria americana
, Vallisneria nana
, and Vallisneria spiralis
. Just to keep things complicated, though, there are quite a few varieties within each of these species. (A variety is the botanical equivalent of a subspecies, so you'll see usually see the name of the variety after the true binomial scientific name, either in quotation marks or preceded by "var.")
The "spiral" in Val. spiralis
actually refers to a part of the floral structure, not the leaves, so I'm comfortable calling what you have a variety of V. spiralis
. Jungle val is not the same; I believe it's typically a variety of V. americana
, although depending on the source, it may be V. spiralis
"tiger." This site has pictures and more explanation: http://www.tropica.com/en/plants/pla...llisneria.aspx
If you really want to get nitty-gritty with taxonomy, here's what the guv'ment's Integrated Taxonomic Information Service has to say: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRp...ch_value=38950
Under the Taxonomic Hierarchy heading, check out the "direct children" to see what the scientific literature has approved to be species within the genus Vallisneria
. Peer reviewed scientific journals usually focus more on naturally occurring species than on what breeders and hobbyists have developed, so there will always be discrepancies between the formal literature and what you and I understand to be a certain species. Case in point: ITIS lists Vallisneria natans
as a species, while vendors commonly list Vallisneria americana
var. natans instead.
Personally, I'm happy calling my Italian val (that looks just like yours) V. spiralis
, and pretending like subspecies don't exist. I'm hoping this response is informative, but any time I think about botanical taxonomy, I usually just wind up more confused--so if I've confused you, then--it wasn't me, it was the taxonomists!