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The Origins of Eleocharis "Belem," "Japanese Hairgrass," and Eleocharis "sp. Mini"

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant History' started by Matt F., Sep 23, 2013.

  1. AaronT

    AaronT Member

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    Tom should have some idea on how to press plants. I'm no expert, but basically you lay it out nicely on a sheet of paper, then put another piece of paper over that and put a flat heavy weight on it and leave it to dry.

    Here's a pic of the one we have in our club. It's definitely not vivipara as there are no adventitious plants growing from the tips. It gets a few inches taller than this pic and for reference the foreground is parvula and the midground is Staurogyne 'Low Grow', one of the larger Staurogynes. Leaf thickness is about the same as acicularis.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    That plant kinda reminds me of this (in my old 55 gallon long):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




     
    #22 Matt F., Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2013
  3. AaronT

    AaronT Member

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    Yeah, same whispy look. The one I have gets about 10"-12" tall though.
     
  4. Yo-han

    Yo-han Guru Class Expert

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    What I always buy as acicularis does get 10-12 inch with not too much light. With a lot of light it stays smaller like Matts picture.
     
  5. AaronT

    AaronT Member

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    I'm using a lot of light on that tank though, ADA 90-P with 4 x 39 watt T5s. I'm certain it's not acicularis as it was locally collected by a club member. Though acicularis does grow around here.
     
  6. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Acicularis is native to many places in the u.s. It's not uncommon for it to get 8-10" tall without issue. I've had it reach the top of a 10 gallon tank before. It gorws like that in high light too. My 55 long was 216 watts of t5ho.

     
  7. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here is a picture of EMERSED "belem." I actually sent this to Gerry for his rescape. This is what it looked like after over a year of being emersed. It grew on Amazonia Aqua Soil, and I used osmocote to provide N. It did NOT flower.
    Looks to be a picture from the winter months. During spring there was new fresh emerald green growth.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    It appears that Tropica's Eleocharis "Sp. Mini" IS what we know of in the hobby as "belem" or "Japanese hairgrass."

    http://www.tropica.com/en/plants/plantdescription.aspx?pid=132B

    Tropica's plant (Eleocharis Sp. Mini) originally came from the San Francisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society (SFBAAPS) and was given to Tropica by Tom. I wish there was a local USA source for this plant besides hobbyists. Not so sure Tropica sells to the USA. I gave some to George and Steve Lo at Aqua Forest Aquarium, but I'm not sure they did anything with it. Eleocharis Sp. Mini is known in the SFBAAPS as Eleocharis "Belem" or "Japanese Hairgrass."

    So I'm sure Eleocharis Sp. Mini is the same plant as Eleocharis "Belem" aka "Japanese Hairgrass."
     
    #28 Matt F., Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2013
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yep, I confirm this as well.
     
  10. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Now all we have to do is find out where it initially came from. ;P I contacted Tropica and they sell it via their distributors, but there is no way to get it in the USA. looks like the average hobbyist in the USA is SHiz out of luck. I'd like to see this plant readily available.

     
    #30 Matt F., Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2013
  11. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here is the response from Tropica regarding Eleocharis Sp. Mini:


    Hi Matt Farwell,

    Thank you for your interest in Tropica plants.

    We do sell Eleocharis sp. Mini but we only sell to dealers – not to private persons. Unfortunately, we don’t have any dealers in the United States.

    Hope you will be able to find it elsewhere J


    Venlig Hilsen / Best Regards / Bien cordialement

    Katrine
    _________________________________________________________________________________


    cid:image001.gif@01CEA946.3AC1B020

    Katrine Planque Tafteberg
    Sales

    Direct phone: +45 87 43 13 23
    E-mail: kat@tropica.dk

    Tropica Aquarium Plants
    Address: Mejlbyvej 200, 8250 Egaa, Denmark
    Phone: +45 86 22 05 66
    Fax: +45 86 22 84 66
    E-mail: tropica@tropica.dk
    Web: www.tropica.com


    Maybe I should contact FAN to see if they will grow it out...
     
  12. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    Can try to find someone in Canada who will ship to you or take a trip there.
     
  13. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yeah, I've contacted a few Tropica dealers in Canada, and no response. I'm not currently looking for the plant, though. I'm growing it. I just want others to have access to it since there is a demand and I am not farming it anymore.

     
  14. Flyinghellfish

    Flyinghellfish Prolific Poster

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    Hey Matt,

    My LFS is a Tropica dealer, I can get you some when they stock it. I never knew Tropica wasn't in the US, it's pretty much the only thing they stock around here. I wouldn't mind trying this plant out, but what is the difference between it and DHG?

    Yes, I know, beside the bending shorter leaves. Could you not create the same effect by trimming?

    Edit: Just realized you're in Cali, there no way they will survive the trip.
     
    #34 Flyinghellfish, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2013
  15. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Yeah, I'm actually sad that we don't get any Tropica plants here in the US. We have Florida Aquatic Nursery--and might have a couple others, but I am not sure. FAN provides us with generic species, but the rarer more delicious stuff is only available through fellow hobbyists. I'm luckily a member of a local club, so we have more access that most people I'd say. A couple of the local shops like Aqua Forest Aquarium import stuff from time to time, which is really nice.

    I am currently growing Eleocharis Belem, but I'm looking to start growing it again in a grow-out tank. It's still a rarer plant here in the USA and there is plenty of demand still.

    There is a large difference between "sp. mini" and acicularis or parvula.


     
  16. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Here's an interesting comment about E. sp. "Belem".

    "Eleocharis species are hard to discern, and without their spikes or rather infrutescence they are practically unidentifiable. Thus it is highly probable that there is more than one species in trade under the label "Eleocharis parvula". In the USA, e.g., a Eleocharis sp. 'Belem' is known, which seems to be quite similar to the plant cultivated as "E. parvula". Dwarf spikerush is also easily confused with E. acicularis."
    http://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticplants/eleocharis-pusilla-e-parvula


    The parvula that I have looks like "Belem" and does not grow straight up; it curves downward.
     
  17. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    The eleocharis "belem" that is from AFA originally and grown out by the SFBAAPS is distinct in its growth form. Definitely not parvula or acicularis. My guess is that whomever wrote that description has never seen "belem." That said, the growth patterns of what we know as "belem" might be influenced by different light, nutrient, or CO2 levels. FWIW, AFA is selling small portions of real belem currently to walk-in customers. They also have Parvula growing in pots. Very big difference when you see the two different plants in the same store.

    I have the two strains growing right now. I call the original belem that AFA imported and SFBAAPS grew out S1 and the stuff they are currently selling S2. We'll see if S2 shows similar patterns. I'm growing both emersed in separate tanks with high light. They are very tight lipped about where they sourced the stuff.

     
    #37 Matt F., Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  18. Chris Noto

    Chris Noto Lifetime Members
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    Now, this is choice!


    I have been an AGA member for most of the last ten years, but have just become a Barr Report member through Tom's generous offer of a year's free membership to anyone who joined AGA or renewed an AGA membership before the end of 2014. Done. Was just emailed word of my new status here.


    Logged in to poke around, something that I mean to do regularly, but haven't done for a while. Saw the heading "Aquarium Plant History" and clicked on it. Saw this thread, which caught my attention, as I'd just given up on a clump of dying, tissue cultured Eleocharis acicularis that I'd picked up, on a whim, at a local Big Box Pet Store. I'd Googled "dwarf hairgrass" and followed as link to eBay, where I found someone in Portugal willing to ship Tropica's "1, 2, Grow" tissue cultured Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini,' which is described at Tropica.com as "Eleocharis acicularis 'mini' has even lower growth than the common Eleocharis parvula and was given to Tropica by Thomas Barr." Less than twenty bucks, including shipping. Small world. :)


    I've had an email confirming shipping from across the Big Pond. I'll fill you in again as more information becomes available.


    Chris Noto,


    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
     
  19. Chris Noto

    Chris Noto Lifetime Members
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    I remember hearing, long ago, that much of what is now San Francisco had originally been marshland, but that was a very general and indistinct memory.


    Searching the net, I did find a very detailed map of SF Bay watersheds, and one bit of detail, at least, that points to SF being, pre-urbanisation, a very divers area geologically and environmentally. I've also attached a note that describes what is now known as the Mission District as a marshland. Various creeks are detailed, and even a spring, to the west of the Mission District. To follow up on the presence of lakes in San Francisco, this map includes "Laguna Dolores" in the Mission District marshland.


    P.S. And, for fans of David Lynch, there is a spot marked "Twin Peaks" near the southwest corner of the map! :)

    View attachment 13699

    poiSF11.gif
     
  20. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Yes, E. acicularis is found in San Francisco. Specifically, the SF Botanical Garden has a lake with it growing submersed and it even has it's own sign indicating the species name.
     
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