Vacationed in California last week and went up to the local water hole I grew up swimming in, Red Rocks on the Santa Ynez River. Saw some rotala growing so I snagged a couple pieces. They have a nice pink to them and some stems where 3 ft or more. Stuffed them in a 1 liter water bottle with some river water. They are still in the bottle, haven't had a chance to clean them up, and one stem is growing out of the bottle now.
Crappy cell phone picture:
I am guessing it is Rotala rotundifolia. The individual leaves are about an inch long, and close up they have a nice red veins, even in the green leaves. Only odd thing to me is I though the top leaves were supposed to be red and the lower leaves turned green as they got older?
Hmm, the leafs are paired 180 degrees from each other on the stem. The next pair of leafs will be set 90 degrees (perpendicular) off of the previous pair of leafs. Each leaf is about 3/4" to 1" long, 1/8" wide and has a rounded end.
What types of stem plants are native to California?