The Ruffled Sword (Echinodorus martii) has broad green leaves that develop ruffled edges as they mature. This sword is particularly vulnerable to iron deficiencies and benefits from supplements. This sword can grow fairly large and is best as a background or centerpiece plant.
"Sword Plants" come primarily from the Echinodorus genus and are marsh or bog plants from the tropical western hemisphere (North, South and Central America as well as some islands in the region). While there are around 3 scientifically accepted species, many species are cross-bred and propagated by hobbyists and nurseries to create numerous variants and hybrids.
While swords may grow emerged in the wild (with their leaves out of the water), they are well adapted to submerged life in the aquarium as well. Emerged plants grow flowers, while submerged plants will reproduce by sending out runners to grow new plants. Most swords need high lighting to thrive. They also benefit from a nutrient-rich substrate and iron and CO2 supplements, especially in heavily planted aquariums.
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