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Heteranthera zosterifolia is a beautiful stem plant with bright green lanceolate leaves. In its country of origin, Brazil, it usually grows in stagnant waters and swampy regions.
In the hobby, H. zosterifolia has been established for many years as a decorative plant for Dutch style aquaria as well as nature aquaria. Here it is used as contrasting plant in the fore-, the middle- and the background by simply cutting it to the desired height.
Known as star grass by vernacular name, this plant is a great water quality indicator. A lack of nitrogen (in the form of NO3) lets the leaves become transparent before they wilt. A lack of phosphorous (in the form of PO4) changes the plant's bright green into a darker hue.
H. zosterifolia is a relatively undemanding plant and grows well at medium light intensities without additional CO2 fertilization. It attains its full potential, however, under strong lights and with CO2 fertilization, then it shows lush, intensive growth and larger leaves. When allowed to grow out of the water it will often get nice blue flowers.