- Synonyms: Rotala verticillaris (erroneous)
- Hardiness: Moderate
- Light Needs: Medium High
- Plant Structure: Stem
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Genus: Pogostemon
- Region: Asia
- Location: Southwestern India
- Size: Stem width: 5-6cm (2-2.5in)
- Growth Rate: Moderate
- Can Be Grown Emersed: Yes
collected for the aquarium hobby from the Western Indian state of
Maharashtra and presented as Rotala verticillaris from the family
Lythraceae, Pogostemon erectus has found a place in many aquariums over
the last several years. It is superficially similar to R. verticillaris
and some forms of Rotala mexicana, but can be distinguished as a
submersed plant in part by its more vertical growth and somewhat larger
size. Emersed, the differences are much more apparent: Whereas R.
verticillaris and R. mexicana have rather inconspicuous, sessile
flowers, P. erectus has very conspicuous and decorative terminal spikes
of purple flowers. Additionally, emersed P. erectus possesses untoothed
leaves with revolute, or down-curving margins resembling pine needles
and obvious hairs on the stamen filaments of its flowers, the latter
feature never being found on any members of the family Lythraceae. The
ranges of the confused P. erectus and R. verticillaris also differ, with
the former found on the Southwestern side of peninsular India and the
latter on the Southeastern side and in Sri Lanka.
Not for so-called low tech tanks, Pogostemon erectus is nonetheless relatively undemanding and will not stunt provided it is given plentiful light and carbon dioxide. It occasionally grows in brackish conditions in the wild and may therefore be more adaptable that has been realized so far. Variation in leaf thickness and texture may result from relatively minor differences in conditions
As an aquascaping plant, it is best used in the background in all but the tallest of tanks, where it grows at a moderately fast but still manageable rate. Its fine-leaved, light green foliage is especially striking next to red or magenta-colored plants like Persicaria praetermissa. Many side shoots are formed after trimming, with the stand becoming very full in time, at which point it may need to be thinned.
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