Vallisneria ID
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
pelicanincident
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Vallisneria ID


This is one of the original plants I purchased when I setup the tank in February 2013. I initially planted it in the very back of the tank, but it has moved its way towards the front and multiplied like mad on its own. I'm hoping it fills in for a nice carpet

The LFS had it labeled "Italian Val", which I assume is Vallisneria Spiralis. However my plants never get longer than a few inches, and they don't have any spiral in their leaves. Is this some sort of variation?


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Old 08-06-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
Hunter P
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italian val stays short.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
pelicanincident
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So "Jungle" val isn't the same as "Italian" val? I'm looking to pinpoint the scientific name of mine.

I found this interesting page on Vals http://www.tropica.com/en/plants/pla...llisneria.aspx

Based on the page I provided, mine has to be Vallisneria americana "Mini Twister", since it doesn't grow any longer than 5 inches. However, the leaves of mine are distinctly straight, which is a contradiction to the Mini Twister variation. Could I have a new variation?

Last edited by pelicanincident; 08-06-2013 at 11:17 PM.. Reason: added link
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:08 AM   #5
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Looks to me more like Sagittaria. Are the leaf edges straight or do they have very small serrations? If they are smooth then your plant should be Sag. There are other distinguishing features between the two you can look up online.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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My Val's have very thin roots

My sag thicker white roots

That's how I've always told them apart as they grew together
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambone870 View Post
My Val's have very thin roots

My sag thicker white roots

That's how I've always told them apart as they grew together
The roots are noticeably white and thick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
Looks to me more like Sagittaria. Are the leaf edges straight or do they have very small serrations? If they are smooth then your plant should be Sag. There are other distinguishing features between the two you can look up online.
The leaves have very distinguished, very small serrations.

What would the small leaf serrations and the thick white roots imply?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-08-2013 at 03:19 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:19 AM   #8
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I wish I could help you more with an ID

Free bump on the thread though
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
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If the leaves truly do have small serrations then beyond reasonable doubt it is a vallisneria of some kind. My vals also can get thick white roots. Usually if it's not white and is transparent-ish it is melting or brown = dead.

Last edited by mr.bigglesworth; 08-08-2013 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: roots
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