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Is this Crypt spiralis?

6773 Views 26 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HoustonFishFanatic
i don't think these are the Val. nana I received them as:

I'm gonna take a guess that they're Crypt spiralis. What do you guys think?
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There is a better chance that this is Cryptocoryne crispatula var flaccidifolia. But definietly a Cryptocoryne. Only way to tell the exact species would be to flower it.
Thanks HFF.

At least I know it's a Crypt. I saw this picture over at PlantGeek under C. spiralis and it looks a lot like mine, but if they got it wrong, then who knows.

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I've been growing Crypt spiralis for a couple years now. Mine has a wider leaf and doesn't get that long. Here's what my spiralis looks like.
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Looks a bit like C. retrospiralis to me. But the truth is that, yes, you will need to flower them to ever know for sure.
x2 Crypt retrospiralis

i have a bunch of it that looks just like that that i was sold as C. spiralis, but i think it is retrospiralis.
Yeah unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about spiralis in this hobby. I remember a while back I was participating in a thread where people were talking about balansae and retrospiralis, and I was telling them that my balansae doesn't get as tall as the retrospiralis, and almost everyone was telling me that I had it backwards, that the balansae is taller, and so on. This was before I knew there was such a species as C. spiralis.

Well, long story short, I ended up finding out that those people were all talking about spiralis, not retrospiralis, but it appeared that people must think that retrospiralis is the same thing or something like that.

Anyway, I never corrected anyone because they were all ganging up on me, and I wasn't a guru at that point. :hihi:
gotcha. So many plants that look similar and the only way to tell for certain is for it to flower.

I was thinking of selling it but if the ID is inaccurate, I don't want people going ballistic on me for selling the wrong plants to them (similar to dwarf sag/dwarf chain sword thing I had going a while back).

"FS: Cryptocoryne sp. with long narrow undulating leaves (retrospiralis, spiralis, or crispatula var. flaccidifolia)" lol
So confusing, Take a look at my crypt, its the same plant as zzyzx85 right?
It's hard to tell from that picture, but I can at least say that it doesn't immediately remind me of retrospiralis, the way that his/hers did.
There is a better chance that this is Cryptocoryne crispatula var flaccidifolia. But definietly a Cryptocoryne. Only way to tell the exact species would be to flower it.
I believe this to be correct.
Moe: it looks quite a bit like the one you have pictured.

HFF and Tinanti: I googled retrospiralis and it said something about it not being a good aquarium plant because it has periods of dormancy. It also said that crispatula is suitable in the aquarium trade because it lacks this dormancy period.
I find that hard to believe, only because there are no seasons in an aquarium. It's always summer, as long as you keep things constant. Now, I'm not saying that I'm right about that... but I've grown retrospiralis in several tanks, and never once saw it go dormant. It always grows fast. Much faster than the balansae that I usually plant along with it.
eh, I guess I'll call it retrospiralis then. That's been getting the most votes so far.

Thanks for your help!
i got some just like that a lonnnnng time ago as spiralis,but it looks to me like retrospirilis
Okay, so are you guys saying the one cah925 has is C. spiralis and the taller/thinner one is what C. retrospiralis looks like? If so, I had it backwards and need to let a certain couple people know that I sent both plants to.

Also, if the taller/thinner leaved crypt I had has lots of color in the leaves (purple/bronze) then is it correct to assume it may not be C. retrospiralis but rahter C. crispatula 'whatever-a-folia'?

Dave, that is the reason why I asked you about those plants a few weeks back. Even though I had received those plants form a very reputable nursery from Florida individually marked as C retrospiralis and C spiralis I still have my doubts on both the ids. I have both of these plus a few more plants which I have received over time as C spiralis in my emersed set up. None of them has flowered for me yet to confirm an id.
Okay, I see. Well, I gave the wider leaved crypt to "mudboots" from APC and he has placed 4 of the younger shoots into his terrarium where he has a couple other crpyt species. If they ever flower (may be years from now :icon_surp ) I'll certainly get pictures.

I get all my retrospiralis from Everglades Nursery (, which is a very reputable aquatic nursery that has been around for a VERY long time. In fact, if I understand their history correctly, the owner was somehow instrumental in convincing the eventual owner of Florida Aquatic Nurseries to go on and get that business started. And we all know, now, that FAN is probably the largest aquatic plant nursery in North America. Chances are, anyone who buys plants from an LFS in the United States is probably getting FAN plants. I've seen their retrospiralis at a LFS, and it looked exactly like what I get from Everglades.

Anyway, the folks at Everglades are very knowledgeable, and have been doing this for generations, so I trust them. That is why, even though I've never flowered a specimen before, I really believe that what I think is retrospiralis IS IN FACT retrospiralis. That being said, I still believe that the OP has retrospiralis, or at least it looks like it.

I've never had spiralis before, so I can't comment on it, but many people here do, and according to their photos the leaves are wider, and it doesn't grow as tall. Also, the leaves are more (I don't know what adjective to use here since I'm not a botanist!) "wavy" or almost "crinkley," whereas the retrospiralis is almost a smooth, flat, and thin leaf.

My retrospiralis has never gone to any other color but green (with a few reddish colored specks, or dots), so I want to say that it doesn't get the red color that balansae gets. And while we're on that subject, since balansae is not a species name, and is actually C. crispatula 'balansae' it wouldn't take a stretch of the imagination to see other versions of crispatula do the coloration thing, so maybe if a plant that was thought to be retrospiralis goes very red-colored, it might be another variety of crispatula.

Wow that was a long post.

This is all anecdotal information not based on any kind of an "official" knowledge of botany. Just comes from my own experience, and my disclaimer is, some or all of it could possibly be wrong.
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