Cryptocoryne wendtii is an aquarium plant from the Araceae family with the subfamily named Cryptocoryne. It originates in Thailand and can grow both under and outside of water, but in different forms that are easily adaptable. Can grow up to 30 centimeters and their root system is strong and branched. Haves 4 to 10 leaves that depending on the environment are very different in shape, size and color.
Submerged plants grown smaller in general and its leaves reach up to 10-15cm. Depending on the lighting, the leaves are green or reddish brown. The leaves are oval a slightly elongated and have sharp peaks with a slightly wavy but visible margin.
The plants that grow outside the water will have leaves with an intense green color but they also have small spots and lines of brown. The leave can also have a pinkish or olive-brown color. It blooms under water, but the flowers do not open. If the plant grows outside the water it will bloom often and quickly. The inflorescence is short having only 5 to 8 centimeters. There are cases when the flower will not open, even if it grows outside the water, this occurs when the temperature is below 22°C or when the plant is underdeveloped or humidity is low.
Cryptocoryne wendtii prefers shady acidic water in aquariums. The optimum temperature is between 20 and 30 °C. Outside the water can endure even lower temperature of 12-14°C without losing its leaves. Under the water this aquarium plant will be more sensitive regarding the temperature and in many cases it will develop Cryptocorynes disease. To grow well and healthy, Cryptocoryne wendtii needs good lighting in winter, the “day” must be extended up to 12 hours with artificial light. If we don’t act accordantly the plant will lose its leaves in winter.
Doctor Karel Rataj said that from the main basic plant, depending on external environmental conditions, several varieties will occur. He assumes that there are five such varieties, the most famous being the red variety, known as Cryptocoryne wendtii “rubra”, it will reach the same size as the main plant but the inflorescence is higher and varies in color. Another variety is Cryptocoryne wendtii “rubella”, with brown-reddish or bronze color leaves, reaching only half the size of the mother plant. Karel Rataj doesn’t exclude the hypothesis that all five varieties are in fact independent Cryptocoryne species but no studied rigorously by botanists.