by Jan D. Bastmeijer
These pages are on the cultivation and taxonomy of plants of the genus Cryptocoryne (Araceae)
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Cryptocoryne beckettii Trimen

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Typical limb of the spathe of C. beckettii as we know for years. The asymmetrical limb is brownish yellow. The collar is broad and high. There is a groove in the top part oft the limb.
coll. hort., cult. B663
A specimen of the triploid form of C. beckettii (C. petchii). The leaves have a fine undulated margin with dark transverse stripes. Note the more reddish color of the throat.
coll. hort., cult. B178
C. beckettii with wide undulated margins of the leaves. Note the rose colored lower side of the leaves.
coll. hort., cult. B622
A quite greenish yellow limb of the spathe of C. beckettii. The limb is rather twisted. The collar is not so broadened.
coll. hort., cult. B622

The red-brownish yellow limb and the dark brown collar and throat, makes the best opinion that it is a C. beckettii.
coll. hort., cult.NJ 2847
photo Jacobsen

Limb of the spathe of C. beckettii. The leaves are as in the triploid form ('C. petchii'). The shape of the limb is alike C.walkeri but there is distinct brown collar and throat.
coll. hort., cult. B1 (my first one!)
This specimen has only the upper part of the throat brownish. The differences with some forms of C. undulata and C. wendtii are getting small.
coll. hort., cult. B283 (=M37)

Another form of C. beckettii with an even less pronounced colored throat of the limb. Note the fine undulated margins of the leaves as is typical for the triploid forms.
coll. hort., cult. B92

Drawing in De Wit (1990) of C. beckettii.
drawing Ike Zewald

De Wit (1990) gives this drawing of the triploid form of C. beckettii (syn. C. petchii).
drawing Ike Zewald
A nice picture of the 'classical' C. beckettii in an aquarium.
Note the wide undulated margin of the leaves which is curved to the lower side of the leaves.
coll. hort., cult PK
photo Krombholz

Distribution of C. beckettii on Sri Lanka.

Cryptocoryne beckettii from central Sri Lanka is perhaps the oldest Crypt cultivated in aquaria. It grows very easy in even hard water. However the plant is not common in aquaria in Europe.
Especially in Crypts from Sri Lanka, it is not easy to decide what species it may be. As more plants were imported it proved that there is a much broader variation as was foreseen by taxonomists. Up to now the best opinion to decide if a species might be a C. beckettii is the form and color of the limb of the spathe, together with the leaves, as shown above.

Updated December 1997


Alston, A.H.G., 1938. Cryptocoryne in: The Kandy Flora : 68, fig.363-367 (with some drawings).
Graaf, & Arends, J.C., 1986. The occurrence of Cryptocoryne and Lagenandra (Araceae) on Sri Lanka. Nord.J.Bot. 6 : 757-764.
Horst, K., 1986. Pflanzen im Aquarium. Ulmer, Stuttgart.
Jacobsen, N., 1976. Notes on Cryptocoryne of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Bot.Notiser 129 : 179-190.
Jacobsen, N., 1977. Zytologie und Taxonomie der Cryptocorynen Sri Lankas. Aqua-Planta 4-77 : 3-8 (cover).
Jacobsen, N., 1981. Cryptocoryne undulata Wendt und Bemerkungen zu andere Arten. Aqua-Planta 2-81 : 31-38 (cover).
Jacobsen, N., 1981. Cryptocoryne undulata Wendt und Bemerkungen zu anderen Arten - ein Nachtrag. Aqua-Planta 4-81 : 92-94.
Jacobsen, N., 1982. Cryptocorynen. Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart.
Jacobsen, N., 1987. Cryptocoryne in: A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon, Vol. VI: 85-99.
Kasselmann, C., 1995. Aquarienpflanzen. Ulmer, Stuttgart.
Möhlmann, F., 1993. Die Cryptocoryne-Arten Ceylons (1). Aqua-Planta 4-93 : 123-128.
Petch, B.A., 1928. Notes on Cryptocoryne. Annals R.Bot.Gard., Peradeniya : Vol.11 part 1 : 11-26, pl 2-5. (Document service)
Trimen, H., 1885. Notes on the Flora of Ceylon. J.Bot. 23 : 269.
Wendt, A., 1958. Die Gattung Cryptocoryne Fischer. Die Aquariumpflanzen in Wort und Bild (1952-1958), Stuttgart.
Wit,, 1990. Aquarienpflanzen, 2. Auflage. Ulmer, Stuttgart.

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