As the name suggests, this plant originates from the Amazon River basin where it grows in the mid and lower regions of the river system. In addition to Echinodorus amazonicus, it is also known as Echinodorus brevipedicellutus. The Amazon Sword is sometimes confused with Echinodorus bleheri, since this close relative is also commonly referred to as Amazon Sword.
The Amazon Sword grows rather big and can exceed 40 cm in height. It is therefore often used as a centre or focal plant in aquariums. The plant consists of lanceolate arched leaves that are about 2-3 cm wide. The leaf coloration is light green and you can see five veins that extend from the base to the tip of each leaf.
The Amazon Sword appreciates medium bright light and a water temperature in the 24-28 degrees C range. The pH-value should be kept around neutral, from pH 6.5 to 7.2. The Amazon Sword will not do well in hard water, since its native environment consists of really soft water.
Amazon Swords should ideally be planted in a medium fine gravel bed. Like most of its close relatives in the genus Echinodorus, it can grow out of the water and is therefore a great choice for an open aquarium. It will however do fine completely submersed too. In the wild, you can often see Amazon Swords growing in boggy environments.
Propagate Amazon Sword plant
Propagation of this species is carried out by adventitious roots or by runner. When Amazon Swords grow completely submerged, their flowers will never open. If you allow your Amazon Sword to grow up above the surface, it will produce a thin floral stalk with four to nine white flowers. The pollen is yellow and you can use a feather or soft brush to cause fertilization once the flowers have opened up.
Be patient, because Amazon Sword seeds need plenty of time to develop. You may think that something has gone wrong when all you see is a lifeless, dried up crown in the centre of a wilted flower, but this is how it’s supposed to look.
Ideally keep the nodes of your Amazon Sword submersed because this will aid the formation of plantlets. It is possible for plantlets to form above the water as well, provided that the humidity is high enough, but such plantlets will not produce any roots.
When you can see roots on the plantlets, gently twist them off the runner and plant them in the substrate. If you want more plantlets it is important not to injure the runner, because a good runner can produce plantlets many times. It just needs to rest for a few months.
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