Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Saururus cernuus
Lizard's Tail, Water Dragon

 Age of Aquariums > Aquarium Plants

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Saururus_cernuus_2.jpg (25kb)

Name: Saururus cernuus
Care GravelLight
Origin: North America
Medium Rich Bright


I collected this plant in June 2005 from a creek near my house, where many of these plants grow. The creek was high, and only the large leaves emerged from the water. At the time, I had no idea of the plant's identity, but I thought it might do well underwater. I planted it in a 75 liter tank, with sand substrate, and bright indirect light. These were probably not the best conditions. In the wild it grew in the shade, creekside, in moist dark soil. I had read elsewhere not to expect it to do much in the aquarium. Over time, the large houseplant type leaves went away and smaller submersed leaves appeared. The plant produced new leaves regularly, but some of them were quite small. The rhizome grew, and many roots anchored it to the sand. I did not fertilize the substrate, as such, but fish debris was incorporated. Now, about a year since it was collected, I have taken the plant out of the aquarium and put it outside in a little water garden, with the leaves well above water.


A look-alike of this plant is commonly found in large chain stores, in an assortment of potted plants. However, this plant is classified as terrestiaal, although it does fine underwater for a long time, and is known by the name of stardust ivy. Some of the only features that set this plant apart from lizard's tail is the large amount of white on the leaves and the lack of the leaves growing in a spiral pattern. For both plants, alongside with large, horizontal-leaved plants, remember to regularly clean the surfaces of debris and detritus.

Contributed by Chris Gormley

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