Anubias

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Anubias
Anubias barteri var nana on a bogwood.jpg
Anubias barteri var. nana on a bogwood (top view)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Anubiadeae
Genus: Anubias
Schott
Type species
A. afzelii
Schott
Species
Synonyms

Amauriella Rendle

Anubias is a genus of aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to tropical central and western Africa. They primarily grow in rivers and streams, but can also be found in marshes. They are characterized by broad, thick, dark leaves that come in many different forms. The genus was revised in 1979[1] and since then its nomenclature has been stable. Species can be determined by using mostly characteristics of the inflorescence. Because of the often shady places where the plants grow, the genus was named after the Egyptian god Anubis, the god of the afterlife.[1] The genus was first described in 1857 by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, with A. afzelii as its type species.[2]

Reproduction and uses[edit]

Anubias, most notably the varying forms of A. barteri,[3] are commonly used in aquariums, usually attached to rocks or bogwood. In contrast to most plants, Anubias generally prefer subdued lighting and can also produce flowers underwater. In the aquarium they should be placed in shaded areas, otherwise algae will develop on the leaves.

Anubias are considered by many aquarists some of the easiest plants to maintain, since their light and nutrient requirements are very low and also because herbivorous fish will not eat it (with a few exceptions). This is why Anubias are some of the few plants which can be used in aquariums with African cichlids and goldfishes.

Reproduction in artificial environments can be accomplished by stolon division or from side shoots. The stolon must always be above the substrate in order to survive, otherwise it will rot and the plant dies. It is also possible to propagate Anubias by seed.[4]

The natural growth rate of all species in this genus is rather slow. Usually, they produce a leaf every 3 weeks, or even slower. And while they were once thought to be among the few plants that do not respond to CO2 addition, hobbyists have seen great results and improved growth with CO2 and high light intensity.

The most commonly available species of this genus is Anubias barteri Schott, which is very polymorphic and is subdivided into several varieties. The biggest representatives of the genus are Anubias gigantea Chevalier ex Hutchinson and Anubias heterophylla Engler. Their leaf-stems can grow up to 83 cm, with leaves 40 cm long and 14 cm broad with lateral lobes up to 28 cm long and 10 cm broad. The smallest representative is Anubias barteri var. nana (Engler) Crusio, with a height up to 10 cm and with leaves up to 6 cm long and 3 cm broad.

Anubias can be grown emersed (above water). For this reason they may be used in paludariums.

Quick facts[edit]

Anubias afzelii Schott
  • Narrow-leafed, medium-sized Anubias
  • Characteristics: plant with stolon
  • Leaf-stem: up to 20 cm
  • Leaves: 13–35 cm long, 3–13 cm broad
  • Height in aquarium: 25 – 30 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 22 - 27 °C
  • pH: 6.0 - 7.0
  • Water hardness: 2 dGH - 6 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: middle to back
  • Usual growth rate: one leaf every 2 months
Anubias barteri Schott

Common varieties:

Anubias barteri var. angustifolia (Engler) Crusio
  • Synonym: Anubias lanceolata f. angustifolia Engler
  • Narrow leafs, similar to afzelii, but much smaller
  • Leaf-stem: up to 32 cm
  • Leaves: up to 18 cm long, up to 3.5 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 10 – 15 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 20 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: < 8 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: middle
  • Usual growth rate: one leaf every 2 months
Anubias barteri var. barteri
  • Compact, heart-shaped anubias
  • Leaf-stem: up to 23 cm
  • Leaves: 7–23 cm long, 4–11 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 25 – 45 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 20 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 9.0
  • Water hardness: < 20 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: back
  • Usual growth rate: one leaf every 3 months
Anubias barteri var. caladiifolia Engler
  • Heart-shaped anubias
  • Leaf-stem: up to 54 cm
  • Leaves: 10–23 cm long, 5–14 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 7 – 30 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 20 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: < 20 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: middle to back
  • Usual growth rate: one leaf every 2 months
"Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia"
  • New leaves are red-brown

Several varieties of Anubias barteri (and also some specimens of some other species) will sometimes produce red-brown leaves. Although these plants have been traded under the name "Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia", this name has no taxonomic status. Leave color is not important in determining to which Anubias species a certain plant belongs.[1]

Anubias barteri var. glabra N. E. Brown
  • Synonyms: Anubias lanceolata N. E. Brown, Anubias minima Chevalier.
  • Narrow-leafed, large anubias
  • Leaf-stem: up to 35 cm long
  • Leaves: spear-shaped, up to 21 cm long, 9 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 30 – 50 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 22 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: < 20 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: back
  • Usual growth rate: 4 - 8 leaves per year
Anubias barteri var. nana (Engler) Crusio
  • Synonym: Anubias nana Engler
  • Dwarf, creeping, with heart-shaped leaves
  • Leaf-stem: up to 5 cm long
  • Leaves: up to 6 cm long and 3 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 5 – 10 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 22 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 9.0
  • Water hardness: 3 - 10 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: front
  • Usual growth rate: one leaf every month
Anubias gigantea Chevalier ex Hutchinson
  • Synonyms: Anubias gigantea var. tripartita Chevalier, Anubias hastifolia var. robusta Engler
  • Large arrow-shaped leaves
  • Leaf-stem: up to 83 cm long
  • Leaves: up to 30 cm long and 14 cm wide, with large lateral lobes up to 28 cm long and 10 cm broad
  • Seldomly used in aquariums
Anubias gilletii De Wildeman & Durand
  • Initially heart-shaped, later with long rear fringes
  • Leaf-stem: up to 40 cm
  • Leaves: arrow-shaped, 25 cm long, 12 – 13 cm wide, lateral lobes up to 13 cm long
  • Height in aquarium: 25 – 40 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 22 - 27 °C
  • pH: 6.0 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: 4 - 10 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: back
  • Usual growth rate: 2 - 6 leaves per year
Anubias gracilis Chevalier ex Hutchinson
  • Whether this is a separate species or another variety of Anubias barteri is doubtful[4]
  • Leaf-stem: up to 33 cm
  • Leaves: triangular heart-shaped, 12 cm long, 4–10 cm wide, lateral lobes up to 7 cm long and 3 cm wide
  • Height in aquarium: 20 – 30 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 24 - 27 °C
  • pH: 6.0 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: 5 - 12 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: middle to back
  • Usual growth rate: 2 - 6 leaves per year
Anubias hastifolia Engler
  • Synonyms: Amauriella hastifolia (Engler) Hepper, Anubias hastifolia var. sublobata Engler, Anubias auriculata Engler, Amauriella auriculata (Engler) Hepper, Anubias haullevilleana De Wildeman, Anubias laurentii De Wildeman, Amauriella obanensis Rendle, Amauriella talbotii Rendle
  • Leaves: long heart-shaped
  • Leaf-stem: up to 67 cm long
  • Leaves: up to 33 cm long and 14 cm wide, lateral lobes up to 26 cm long and 8 cm broad
  • Height in aquarium: 30 – 50 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 22 - 27 °C
  • pH: 6.0 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: < 20 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: middle to back
  • Usual growth rate: 2 - 6 leaves per year
Anubias heterophylla Engler
  • Synonyms: Anubias congensis N. E. Brown, Anubias congensis var. crassispadix Engler, Anubias affinis De Wildeman, Anubias engleri De Wildeman, Anubias bequertii De Wildeman, Anubias undulata (trade name)
  • Very large species, for tall aquariums
  • Leaf-stem: up to 66 cm long
  • Leaves: 38 cm long, 13 cm wide, sometimes with very short basal lobes
  • Height in aquarium: 25 – 60 cm

Optimal conditions:

  • Temperature: 24 - 27 °C
  • pH: 5.5 - 8.0
  • Water hardness: 5 - 12 dGH
  • Position in aquarium: back
  • Usual growth rate: 2 - 4 leaves per year
Anubias pynaertii De Wildeman
  • Leaf-stem: up to 45 cm
  • Leaves: up to 29 cm long and 14 cm broad

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Crusio, W. (1979). "A revision of Anubias Schott (Araceae). (Primitiae Africanae XII)". Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 79 (14): 1–48. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  2. ^ Schott, H. (December 1857). "Aroideen Skizzen". Oesterreichisches Botanisches Wochenblatt (in German and Latin) 7 (50): 398–399. doi:10.1007/BF02071618. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  3. ^ Christel Kasselmann (2002). Aquarium Plants. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company. p. 104. ISBN 1-57524-091-2. 
  4. ^ a b Crusio WE (1987). "Die Gattung Anubias SCHOTT (Araceae)". Aqua Planta (in German). Sonderheft (1): 1–44.