Rosette plants are those that have a shortened stem axis and tend to be more ornamental than the other type of aquarium plants.

Rosette Plants are the ornamental plants of the aquarium. These plant structure of the rosettes are described as having a ‘shortened stem axis’ which creates very beautiful leafy plant. They can be used in groups or can be used individually as a stand alone plant. A single rosette plant can be the stunning focal point in your aquarium design.

Most of the Rosette plants are lattice plants and require more specialized plant care than the other groups for good plant growth. They reproduce asexually by runners and most will grow emersed under water and produce flowers. Environmental requirements include: soft, slightly acidic water ( pH of 5.5-6.5 and 2-3° CH), abundantly available fertilization, and cooler temperatures (60-72° F).

Amazon Swordplant

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Echinodorus amazonicus

Broadleaved Swordplant

Broadleaved Amazon Swordplant
Anubias barteri barteri (Image Credit: Tocekas, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Echinodorus grisebachii


duckweed in aquarium
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Lemna minor

Dwarf Anubias

Dwarf Anubias
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Anubias nana

Dwarf Lily

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Nymphaea stellata

Dwarf Swordplant

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Echinodorus quadricostatus

Giant Vallisneria

giant vallisneria in aquarium
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Vallisneria gigantea

Jungle Vallis

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Vallisneria americana

Madagascar Lace Plant

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Aponogeton madagascariensis

Micro-Sword Grass

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Lilaeopsis brasiliensis

Orchid Lily

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Barclaya longifolia

Ozelot Sword Plant

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Echinodorus schlueteri

Pygmy Chain Swordplant

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Echinodorus tenellus

Ruby Melon Swordplant

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Echinodorus barthi

Ruffled Amazon Swordplant

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Echinodorus major

Straight Vallisneria

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Vallisneria spiralis

Undulated Crypt

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Cryptocoryne undulata

Water Hyacinth

water hyacinth
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Eichhornia crassipes

Water Lily

water lily
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Nymphaea sp.

Water Onion Plant

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Crinum thaianum

Wendts Cryptocoryne

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Cryptocoryne wendtii

Favorite Rosette Plants

Some aquarium plants deserve mention because they tend to be hardy handsome plants. In general these are easy aquarium plants to keep with normal plant care, tolerating a wide variety of water conditions and will fit in either small or large aquariums, They need moderate light for plant growth and propagate freely without aid. Here are a few of the rosette plants that tend to fit this description:

  • Calla Lily Family – Crypts: One group of rosettes, the Calla Lily family (Araceae) includes many of the choicest aquarium plants, being slow growing and permanent. Most of these are in the Cryptocoryne genus, called ‘Crypts’. The Prolific Crypt, Cryptocoryne affinis, is a large gracerful plant, and is the fastest growing and most prolific of the Cryptocoryne. The Wendt’s Cryptocoryne, Cryptocoryne wendtii, is another good choice and has beautiful red/green coloration.

  • Sagittaria: There are several good varieties Sagittaria. They form a rich green grass with most growing from between 3″ to 12″ high, and do well in either cool or warm aquariums with good light. The Dwarf Sagittaria, Sagittaria subulata, is one of the rosette plants that is easy to grow. It will do well in most aquariums and can reach up to 16″ in height.

  • Vallisneria: The Vallisneria varieties tend to be hardy, long lived plants. The Giant Vallisneria, Vallisneria gigantea, stands with a tall plant structure having long narrow upright leaves. It is a good choice as a background plant as is the Jungle Vallis, Vallisneria americana, also known as Tapegrass or Water Celery The Straight Vallisneria, Vallisneria spiralis, (also called the Corkscrew Vallisneria) forms a pretty light green grass that can be straight or somewhat twisted. It is another hardy plant, but it must get good light (preferably from the side) and water that’s not too soft.

  • Floating Plants: Some of the rosettes are floating plants and work great for a surface cover, and they also offer a place for fish fry to hide. Duckweed, Lemna minor, is a good example of a floating plant that is extremely easy to keep with good plant growth, though it will need to be thinned regularly so it doesn’t cover the entire surface of your aquarium.

Types of Rosette Plants

  • Anubias barteri
  • Aponogeton bouvianus
  • Aponogeton crispus
  • Aponogeton elongatus
  • Aponogeton madagascariensis – Madagascar Lace Plant
  • Aponogeton rigidifolius
  • Aponogeton ulvaceus
  • Aponogeton undulatus
  • Barclaya longifolia – Orchid Lily
  • Crinum natans – Onion Bulb
  • Cryptocoryne affinis – Prolific Cryptocoryne
  • Cryptocoryne balansae
  • Cryptocoryne becketii
  • Cryptocoryne cordata – Trumpet Cryptocoryne
  • Cryptocoryne lutea
  • Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
  • Cryptocoryne walkeri
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii – Wendt’s Cryptocoryne
  • Cryptocoryne willisii – Willis’ Cryptocoryne
  • Echinodorus amazonicus – Amazon Sword Plant
  • Echinodorus bleheri
  • Echinodorus cordifolius – Swordplant, Creeping Burhead, or Radican Sword
  • Echinodorus horemanni
  • Echinodorus major/maior – Ruffle Sword
  • Echinodorus osiris – Melon Sword
  • Echinodorus paniculatus
  • Echinodorus parviflorus – Tropic Sword
  • Echinodorus tenellus, quadricostatus –Pygmy Chain Sword
  • Lemna – Duckweed, Green Plague
  • Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae – Micro Sword
  • Nuphar – Spatterdock
  • Nymphaea – Water Lily, Tiger Lotus
  • Nymphaea lotus – Lotus Lily, Egyptian Water Lily, Egyptian Lily, White Lily
  • Nymphoides aquatica – Big Floating Heart, Banana Plant
  • Pistia stratiotes – Water Lettuce
  • Sagittaria – Sag, Arrowhead
  • Sagittaria subulata – Dwarf Sagittaria, Narrow Leaf Sag, Hudson Sagittaria, Ribbon Wapato
  • Samolus parviflorus – Water Pimpernel
  • Vallisneria gigantea – Giant Vallisneria
  • Vallisneria spiralis – Corkscrew Vallisneria
  • Wolffia – Watermea

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