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Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae is found in rivers and rivulets in southern Thailand, where this variety of C. crispatula forms dense, mostly submersed populations with bandlike leaves floating in the current. When the water is low, some of these plants fall dry and then form flowers. The habitats of this Cryptocoryne are often found in areas with limestone rocks, so the water is hard and rich in calcium.
C. crispatula var. balansae has been in the hobby for a long time, it is easy to cultivate and highly adaptable. It can grow to over 50 cm in height. There are different forms of var. balansae, one of the most common ones has leaves about 2 cm wide. However, leaf width can vary from 1.5 to 4 cm, and its colour may be anything between green and an attracive bronze hue.
A typical characteristic of C. crispatula var. balansae are the bullous leaves with a hammered look. The variety C. crispatula var. flaccidifolia, quite similar to C. crispulata var. balansae, differs from it by narrower (0.5 to 1.2 cm wide), unhammered submersed leaves.