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Cryptocoryne wendtii Green.jpg
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Cryptocoryneae
Genus: Cryptocoryne
Fisch. ex Wydler

Myrioblastus Wall. ex Griff.

Cryptocoryne is a genus of aquatic plants from the family Araceae. The genus is naturally distributed in tropical regions of India, Southeast Asia and New Guinea.[1]

The typical habitats of Cryptocoryne are mostly streams and rivers with not too rapidly flowing water, in the lowland forest. They also live in seasonally inundated forest pools or on river banks submerged only at high water. Although the proper scientific name of the genus is Cryptocoryne, they are commonly referred to as crypts. The English name "water trumpet" refers to their inflorescence, a spadix enclosed by a spathe (typical for the whole family), which resembles a trumpet.

The first Cryptocoryne species was described in 1779 as Arum spirale by Retzius. The genus was described by Friedrich Ernst Ludwig von Fischer in 1828. However, the scientific classification of Cryptocoryne species is very complicated and there are different opinions about it. Lagenandra is another genus closely related to the genus Cryptocoryne. The two can be easily told apart since the leaves of Cryptocoryne species exhibit convolute vernation whereas Lagenandra species exhibit involute vernation.

The name Cryptocoryne is derived from the Greek crypto, hidden, and koryne, meaning club. The common name (water trumpet) refers to the shape of its inflorescence, which is typical of the Araceae family.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Some Cryptocoryne are popular commercially cultivated aquarium plants. Submerged plants reproduce vegetatively, emerse plants may flower and reproduce sexually. Many species are cultivated only by dedicated experts and are very hard to grow, or are not present in a culture at all. Some species are endangered because their natural habitats are disappearing. On the other hand, some water trumpets (e.g. Cryptocoryne beckettii) are very hardy aquarium plants, easy to grow to the point that they have become an invasive species after being introduced in Florida in North America.[2]

Cryptocoryne is either found in peat bogs or on limestone; the latter do well in most aquaria, the former must have soft water to survive and need decomposing beech leaf litter to do well. C. striolata, while found primarily in peat bogs, has also been found growing on limestone. Borneo is home to many endemic crypts previously thought to grow only in tea-colored soft acid water emulating peat bogs but exploration of habitats from 2005 to 2010 showed about half grew on limestone as well. These hardwater Cryptocorynes are generally the easier ones to keep (in fact, some species, such as Cryptocoryne wendtii are said to be among the most versatile of aquarium plants); they tolerate low or bright light but grow faster in more intense light. This water plant's range is around 12 to 33 °C, and slightly alkaline to neutral pH.

Plants of the genus Cryptocoryne, which range from India to New Guinea are found in very diverse conditions. Some are true acid loving plants such as C. pallidnerva, found in peat bogs in Borneo, while others such as C. crispatula var. balansae and C. pontiderifolia are found in streams with limestone beds—hard alkaline water. One species, C. ciliata is even found in semi-brackish water in some areas. It is one of the few aquarium plants that tolerates salt concentrations.

Cryptocoryne plants have been in cultivation in the aquarium hobby since the late 18th century, although it was not until the 1960s that more than a handful of species was known and became more common in the hobby. New species still regularly crop up as interest in these plants widens and more collecting expeditions by private parties are carried out.

Crypt melt[edit]

A phenomenon often encountered when planting new crypts in an aquarium is commonly called Crypt melt, whereby the plant loses all its leaves.[3] There seem to be two possible causes for this.

Rapid environmental change is thought to trigger this, as these plants do not seem to adapt well to transplantion, and may need 30 days or so to become established and for the leaves to regrow. Experienced growers report that it is better to plant crypts in aquariums that have been established for at least three months.[citation needed]

In the wild, crypts can grow fully submerged underwater, but in some plant nurseries they are often grown emersed and crypt melt could then be triggered by the change from emerse to submerse conditions.

There is lately a trend for such nurseries to send crypts as just a rootstock (i.e. without the leaves) to reduce shipping costs and because the leaves will be lost anyway once planted in an aquarium.

Other reports[4] emphasise the need to change the aquarium water regularly to prevent the buildup of nitrates which are thought to trigger this condition (often referred to as a disease).


  1. Cryptocoryne affinis N.E.Br. in J.D.Hooker - Thailand, Malaysia
  2. Cryptocoryne alba de Wit - Sri Lanka
  3. Cryptocoryne albida R.Parker - southern China, eastern India, Bangladesh, Indochina
  4. Cryptocoryne annamica Serebryanyi - Vietnam
  5. Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia Merr. - Philippines
  6. Cryptocoryne aura - West kalimantan
  7. Cryptocoryne auriculata Engl. - Sarawak, Philippines
  8. Cryptocoryne bangkaensis Bastm. - Sumatra
  9. Cryptocoryne beckettii Thuill. ex Trim. - Sri Lanka; naturalized in Texas
  10. Cryptocoryne bogneri Rataj - Sri Lanka
  11. Cryptocoryne bullosa Becc. - Sarawak
  12. Cryptocoryne ciliata (Roxb.) Schott - India, Bangladesh, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Philippines
  13. Cryptocoryne cognata Schott - India
  14. Cryptocoryne consobrina Schott - India
  15. Cryptocoryne cordata var. cordata Griff. - Malaysia
  16. Cryptocoryne cordata var. siamensis Griff. - Thai
  17. Cryptocoryne cordata var. diderici Griff. - Sumatra
  18. Cryptocoryne cordata var. grandis Ridl. - Northeast Borneo
  19. Cryptocoryne cordata var. grabowskii Engl. - South Kalimantan
  20. Cryptocoryne cordata var. zonata de Wit. - Sri Aman
  21. Cryptocoryne coronata Bastm. & Wijng. - Philippines
  22. Cryptocoryne crispatula var. crispatula Engl. - Southeast Asia
  23. Cryptocoryne cruddasiana Prain - Myanmar
  24. Cryptocoryne decus-silvae de Wit - Johor
  25. Cryptocoryne dewitii N.Jacobsen - Papua New Guinea
  26. Cryptocoryne purpurea nothovar. edithiae de Wit - South Kalimantan
  27. Cryptocoryne elliptica N.E.Br. - Malaysia
  28. Cryptocoryne ferruginea Engl. - Sarawak
  29. Cryptocoryne fusca de Wit - Borneo
  30. Cryptocoryne griffithii Schott - Kalimantan, Peninsular Malaysia
  31. Cryptocoryne hudoroi Bogner & N.Jacobsen - Kalimantan
  32. Cryptocoryne ideii Budianto - Kalimantan
  33. Cryptocoryne jacobsenii de Wit - Sumatra
  34. Cryptocoryne joshanii Naive & Villanueva - Philippines
  35. Cryptocoryne keei N.Jacobsen - Sarawak
  36. Cryptocoryne lingua Becc. ex Engl - Sarawak
  37. Cryptocoryne loeiensis Bastm., T.Idei & N.Jacobsen - Laos, Thailand
  38. Cryptocoryne longicaudaBecc. ex Engl. - Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra
  39. Cryptocoryne mekongensis T.Idei, Bastm. & N.Jacobsen - Cambodia, Laos, Thailand
  40. Cryptocoryne minima Ridl. - Malaysia, Sumatra
  41. Cryptocoryne moehlmannii de Wit - Sumatra
  42. Cryptocoryne nevillii Trimen - Sri Lanka
  43. Cryptocoryne noritoi Wongso - Kalimantan
  44. Cryptocoryne nurii var. nurii Furtado - Peninsular Malaysia
  45. Cryptocoryne nurii var. raubensis N.Jacobsen - Peninsular Malaysia
  46. Cryptocoryne pallidinervia Engl. - Borneo
  47. Cryptocoryne parva de Wit- Sri Lanka
  48. Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia Schott - Sumatra
  49. Cryptocoryne purpurea nothovar. purpurea Ridl. - Peninsular Malaysia
  50. Cryptocoryne purpurea nothovar. sarawakensis Yosuke Kobayashi - sarawak
  51. Cryptocoryne purpurea nothovar. borneoensis N.Jacobsen , Bastm. - Central Kalimantan
  52. Cryptocoryne pygmaea Merr. - Philippines
  53. Cryptocoryne retrospiralis (Roxb.) Kunth - Bangladesh, India, Myanmar
  54. Cryptocoryne schulzei de Wit - Johor
  55. Cryptocoryne scurrilis de Wit - Sumatra
  56. Cryptocoryne sivadasanii Bogner - southern India
  57. Cryptocoryne spiralis (Retz.) Fisch. ex Wydler - Bangladesh, India
  58. Cryptocoryne striolata Engl. - Borneo
  59. Cryptocoryne thwaitesii Schott - Sri Lanka
  60. Cryptocoryne timahensis Bastm. - Singapore (C. cordata × C. nurii)
  61. Cryptocoryne uenoi Yuji Sasaki - Sarawak
  62. Cryptocoryne undulata Wendt - Sri Lanka
  63. Cryptocoryne usteriana Engl. - Philippines
  64. Cryptocoryne versteegii Engl. - New Guinea
  65. Cryptocoryne vietnamensis I.Hertel & H.Mühlberg - Vietnam
  66. Cryptocoryne villosa N.Jacobsen - Sumatra
  67. Cryptocoryne walkeri Schott - Sri Lanka
  68. Cryptocoryne wendtii de Wit - Sri Lanka
  69. Cryptocoryne × willisii Reitz - Sri Lanka (C. parva × C. walkeri)
  70. Cryptocoryne yujii Bastm. - Sarawak
  71. Cryptocoryne zaidiana Ipor & Tawan - Sarawak
  72. Cryptocoryne zukalii Rataj - Peninsular Malaysia


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ "Nonnative Invasive Species in Southern Forest and Grassland Ecosystems". Archived from the original on 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  3. ^ Cryptocoryne affinis leaf drop
  4. ^ "Howto cultivate Crypts". Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-18.

External links[edit]