ABC PLANTS - Proserpinaca palustris 'Marsh Mermaid'
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Found in the humid, marsh-like soils and slow-moving waters of the Americas, Proserpinaca palustris physiology can vary greatly from one environment to the next. Submerged leaves will appear serrated in nature whereas emergent leaves are round and distinctly green in colour. With moderate to high illumination and CO2 injection, submerged leaves will adopt striking orange, red, and golden hues, making P. palustris an excellent midground accent. With its small size and moderate growth rate, it is a versatile specimen, well-suited to both large and small aquascapes. It produces relatively few side shoots along the length of the vertical stem, although lateral growth can be encouraged through upper stem pruning. Adequately sized shoots can then be replanted in the substrate. While pruning need not be frequent, P. palustris is considered moderately difficult to grow and may shed its leaves when cared for improperly. As such, this plant makes an excellent choice for both the more ambitious beginner and the experienced hobbyist with its vibrant colouration and distinct leaf shape.
Type: Stem plant
Size: 10 to 40cm in height, 5 to 15cm in width
Native Range: The Americas
Position and Usage: Midground
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
Water Conditions: Neutral to basic pH; low NO3 (5 - 10ppm) and high PO4 (1.5 - 2ppm) levels facilitate large, compact, deep orange to red growth
CO2: Recommended to achieve orange colouration, but not required
Propagation: Lateral shoot pruning; also reproduces freely via seeds