Bunch Plant - Ceratophyllum demersum

AquaTropicsSKU: B819


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Ceratophyllum demersum

commonly known as hornwort, rigid hornwort, coontail, or coon’s tail, is a fascinating aquatic plant. Let’s dive into its intriguing features:


  1. Description:

    • Ceratophyllum demersum is a submerged, free-floating aquatic plant found across the globe, except in Antarctica.
    • Its stems can reach impressive lengths of 1–3 meters (3–10 feet), with numerous side shoots creating a bushy appearance.
    • The leaves grow in whorls of six to twelve, each leaf measuring 8–40 mm long. These leaves are stiff, brittle, and sometimes forked into thread-like segments with spiny teeth.
    • The plant is monoecious, meaning it produces separate male and female flowers on the same individual.
    • Tiny flowers (only 2 mm long) with greenish-brown petals emerge from the leaf axils.
    • The fruit is a small nut, usually with three spines (two basal and one apical), measuring 4–5 mm long.
    • Ceratophyllum demersum can also form turions, which are winter buds that sink to the bottom of water bodies and give rise to new plants in spring.
  2. Distribution and Habitat:

    • This aquatic plant thrives in lakes, ponds, and quiet streams with summer water temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C.
    • In North America, it occurs throughout the US and Canada (except Newfoundland).
    • Remarkably, it has been reported as far north as 66 degrees latitude in Norway.
    • Other occurrences include China, Siberia, Burkina Faso, Vietnam, and New Zealand (where it’s considered an introduced harmful weed).
  3. Invasive Status:

    • Hornwort is classified as a weed in Tasmania, Australia, and as an unwanted organism in New Zealand.
    • Its dense growth can outcompete other underwater vegetation, potentially leading to a loss of biodiversity.
  4. Aquarium Enthusiasts:

    • Ceratophyllum demersum is a popular aquarium plant due to its hardiness and ability to consume excess nutrients from the water.
    • It provides shelter for fish and shrimp while maintaining water quality.

Remember, this aquatic wonder not only graces our natural water bodies but also finds a cozy spot in aquariums worldwide! 

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