Common Name: Water Fern, Azolla Filiculoides
The Azolla Filiculoides, or Water Fern, originated in the Western United States but has long since spread and is commonly found from Canada to Argentina, in Europe, and even in New Zealand. It is a tiny and hardy fern, found on the surface of stagnant and slow-moving bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, and swamps.
The water fern grows extremely quickly over the water’s surface and is formed of clusters of tiny, two-lobed leaves growing from densely-clad stems, with the individual leaves between .4” and .79” in diameter. They are mostly green but tinged pink, orange, or red at the edges. The plant branches freely and breaks into smaller sections as it grows. This plant is not tolerant of cold temperatures and needs at least a medium-light level to grow fully. It is an uncommon choice as an aquarium plant, being more popularly used in outdoor ponds, but is aesthetically interesting and usable in many aquariums.
Family Name: Salviniaceae
Origin: Western United States
Light: Medium to High
Co2: Low to Medium
Propagation: From spores of existing plant, sprinkled in water. Plants in a body of water then self-propagate by division.
Growth Rate: Fast