Water Sprite

Ceratopteris thalictroides

General information: A fern that is sometimes free floating but usually grows in the soil on the margins of creeks, rivers, swamps and billabongs. In the fast flowing shallow water of the Daly River it grows submerged flattened against the sandy bottom by the current. It is a little different in shape to the specimens available in the aquarium trade. The NT variety has much broader submerged and infertile fronds. Very attractive as a young plants but with lots of light and CO2 fertilisation it quickly grows up out of the aquarium. Plants are edible and used in Asia as a vegetable.

Cultivation notes : It is found in a large variety of water and habitat types. Generally it is easy to cultivate as long as there is plenty of light. Not fussy about substrate or water quality. Older leaves of mature plants form plantlets that can be placed in the substrate to start new plants.

Distribution : The NT form is common on NT floodplain creeks, rivers and billabongs. As the first rains of the wet season start to swell the Daly River small floating plantlets move down the river and can be found in backwaters along the margins of the river. The species is pantropical.

Selling details : Sold as one or more plants tied as a bunch.

Reference: Cowie, Short & Osterkamp Madsen ( 2000 ) “Floodplain Flora, a flora of the floodplain of the Northern Territory, Australia”