Originally Posted by Byron
I'm only familiar with stem plants in this shape. For substrate rooted plants, I have used Vallisneria, chain sword, and the smaller swords like Echinodorus amazonicus (see profile of Echinodorus bleherae).
My first thoughts went to the swords and Vals. I really like the Vals but I'm not sure which Vals stay small enough to not completely take over a 5 gallon tank and I feel like most of the swords are too bushy/spread for what I'm looking for. The chain sword was a definitely a contender for me though.
I actually just stumbled across Narrow Leaf Java Fern, not sure why I did't think of that before. I've had plenty of success with getting Java Fern to grow in the substrate rather than on wood or rock. Trick is to find them tall enough for what I'm looking for. Most places sell them smallish.
Thanks for the suggestions ^,^