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Family: Apiaceae

Common Name: Brazilian Pennywort

Origin and Habitat: Found throughout Brazil. Occurs in moist areas, flooded forest and slow-flowing streams; grows emersed along the banks of streams as a creeping ground plant.

Ideal position in aquarium

An ideal stem plant for the back corners as it will tolerate some shade; also will grow floating. Can be grown as a ground cover in a plaudarium.

Lighting requirements

Moderate to bright. One of the few stem plants that does well in less light.

Growth rate

Moderate to Rapid.

Minimum Tank Suggestion


Water parameters for Brazilian Pennywort

Soft to moderately hard (to 15 dGH), acidic to slightly basic/alkaline (pH to 7.8) water, temperature 20-28C/68-82F.


Leaves are light green, oval or kidney-shaped with slightly serrated margins (edges), developing alternately from side to side along the fast-growing stems. Left to float, the stems develop long white roots, and the leaf blades will be smaller in diameter.

As noted under the light requirements, this stem plant is very suitable in lower light aquaria and those with floating plants. Fast growing, it can regularly be trimmed by cutting the stems when they reach the surface and planting the top portions in the substrate. If left to grow along the surface, the lower leaves on the stems in the aquarium will yellow and fall off.

This plant will also grow in damp bog conditions, along the moist surface as in a paludarium or terrarium for amphibians. In the opinion of the writer, one of the finest stem plants and ideal in a South American display.

The Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae) family, commonly referred to as the carrot or parsley family, is comprised mainly of aromatic herbs with hollow stems. It is one of the families within the Angiosperms (Flowering Plants). The English botanist John Lindley described the family in 1836, deriving the name from that of the type genus, Antium, established by Carl Linnaeus who used the name of a celery-like plant as mentioned in the works of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (ca. 50 AD). The family holds more than 3700 species in 434 genera.

The genus Hydrocotyle, erected by Carl Linnaeus, contains up to 100 species of aquatic or semi-aquatic prostrate plants, commonly referred to as the pennyworts. They have long creeping stems with round or kidney-shaped leaves with scalloped margins, and all flower.

Contributing Members

The following members have contributed to this profile: Byron, amazon21


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