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Ever since I put excess of my plants for sale, there are requests by confused fellow aquarists as to PINK variety of E.t.

Echinodorus tenellus protects itself from excess of light by 'pinking' its leaves and whether or not it is by developing anthocyanins or something else - I leave it to botanists to argue ( I'm only a Horticulturist myself ...)

As far as I know, there is no PINK variety as such , for it is GREEN under lower light conditions, so if somebody's E.t. is green, treat this as an indication that is growing under insufficient light intensity to pink itself!!!!

Of course there are discussion what is true E.t. and what is not, and this was covered by many a discussion (http://www.google.com/search?source...&rlz=1T4ACAW_en___US343&q=helanthium+tenellum


Does anybody have a sensible opinion of a mess with Echinodorus tenellus clasification and ...pinking of some/all of them- be my guest
 

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I don't know whether you might class my answer sensible... ;) but here goes:

The classification of Echinodorus tenellus and other swords have been a mess for years and some people feel that the recent developments in taxonomy have only added to it.
One of the more level-headed articles is by Neil Frank available online.

THe most recent taxonomic view is from Lehtonen. In his opinion, the Helanthium tenellum that turns reddish/pinkish in good light, is the real thing. The other plants going by this name might be different collections from different localities of H. tenellum, or they might be different species altogether. That is why not all the plants currently called in the hobby H. tenellum (Echinodorus tenellus) turn pinkish but stay green even in high lighting situations.

Lehtonen and I are at this moment trying to take a look in the genetics of the Helanthiums and Echinodorus in cultivation. It would be great to receive some (dry) plant material from the US plant growers if anyone would be interested in helping. (PM me if you like).

Hope this helped a bit! :)
 

· Fresh Fish Freak
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Till the botanists straighten it all out, this is what I've come up with based on my own experience.

I think there's at least 4 versions of "E. tenellus." I've got all 4 of them in my 90gal, and this is consistently how they grow even under the same conditions:

1- the "regular" grows 4-6" tall and stays green no matter the light/nutrients.

2- the "narrow" grows 2-3" tall and also stays green no matter the lighting.

3- the "red" or "pink" also grows 4-6" tall, but the leaves are narrower, darker green than the "regular," and also can turn red/pink/bronze. Edward- the ones that you sent me I have planted right next to "regular," and even the new runners coming off of these plants show these traits as opposed to the well-established "regular" that are growing right next to them.

4- "micro" grows 2-3" tall, but the leaves are narrow and have the same coloration as the "red" or "pink."

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if these need to be broken out into different species. Especially the ones that will versus will not turn pink. The leaves do look pretty dramatically different- I have no issues telling them apart in my tank.

Hopefully the research you're helping with will shed some light on all this, Daniel. :biggrin:
 

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Great info, Laura!

These might have to be broken into separate species - you are right about that. We hope we'll get some resolution to the question in our research. :)

The colouring is not always considered as difference enough to separate species, though. For example, Echinodorus uruguayensis has green and red growth forms and everything in between (in the nature) but are still just one species. Or take for example Rotala rotundifolia... there's green and more red forms there too. These might become cultivar names in order to separate them from each other in the hobby and trade. Too often people want to have new species where only variation in one species is evident (consider humans: how many species? :icon_lol:).
 
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