by Jan D. Bastmeijer ~ 2016
Suwidji Wongso & Co.
These pages are on the cultivation and taxonomy of plants of the genus Cryptocoryne & Lagenandra (Araceae)
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Cryptocoryne cordata Griff. var. cordata

Cryptocoryne cordata var. cordata is one of the eldest known Cryptoccoynes, described by Griffith in 1851. It grows in a great part of W. Malaysia reaching the south of peninsular Thailand, but is not present in Singapore. Other varieties of C. cordata grow in Thailand (C. siamensis var. siamensis), in Borneo (C. grabowski), and in Sumatra (C. siamensis var. diderici). See an overview in the cordata group.
For a long time C. cordata var. cordata was difficult to grow, but today we know how to do it.

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Habitat of C. cordata var. cordata in a quiet park in the Narathiwat province in S. Thailand.
coll. SW s.n.
photo Wongso
C. cordata var. cordata is found in many jungle streams in Johore.
coll. CK 63
photo Kettner
Submerged specimens of C. cordata var. cordata (dark patches) in a quickly flowing stream along a road in Johore, together with Eriocaulon longifolium.
coll. NJM 01-07
photo Jacobsen
An almost stagnant stream near the coast in Johore behind a parking place of a restaurant. C. cordata var. cordata (centre) grows loosely rooted in the mud.
coll. B 804
Growing under the canopy of Sago palms in the Narathiwat province in S Thailand. You would sink to your knees in the mud.
coll. NJT 02-26
photo Jacobsen

Uprooted plants from Narathiwat. Note the pale green lower side of the leaves.
coll. NJT 02-26
photo Jacobsen
A quickly running stream al low water with C. cordata var. cordata sheltered behind a fallen tree.
coll. B 797
Flowering plants in a muddy stream.
coll. NJ 78-57
photo Jacobsen

You can grow them semi-emersed with the roots submersed in a loose beech tree mould ...
coll.NJM 01-07, cult. NJ
photo Jacobsen

... and rise or sink the waterlevel as you like. It is a good practise to lay a pebble on the rhizome to fix it when you start.
coll. Scholler s.n., cult. B 1251
Grown fully submersed in pure beech tree litter, the cordate leaves are almost flat with small dark markings.
coll. Mie 06-01, cult. B1152
A cultivated plant in a leaf mold from the alder tree (Alnus). This works very well but the mould decomposes fast.
coll. Scholler s.n., cult. Jacobsen
photo Jacobsen

Upper side of the leaves. Left: cultivated with clay in the beech tree litter substrate, right: with only beech tree litter.
coll. and cult. NJT 02-26
photo Jacobsen
Lower side of the leaves.The leaves have grown emerged out of the water.
coll. and cult. NJT 02-26
photo Jacobsen
This plant is cultivated emersed in a pot with pure beech tree litter. This works for - say - half a year, after the soil is fully decomposed and the plant may collapse.
coll. Kleemann 02-10, cult B 923
The pioneer Crypts grower in the USA, R.A. Gasser cultivated this plant around 1960. This setup is of course a showcase.
unknown origin, cult. Gasser T82
photo Gasser

The bright yellow limb of the spathe of C. cordata var. cordata. There is no pronounced collar. Only with special lighting you can see that the limb is a bit more glossy than the collar zone / throat.
coll. & cult. NJM 01-07
photo Jacobsen

Opened kettle of a fresh spathe of C. cordata var. cordata. The pollen tubes are closed (dark points), the stigma's are upright.
coll. Mie 06-01, cult B1152
Opened kettle of a two / three days old spathe of C. cordata var. cordata. The pollen is extruded and the styles bent down.
coll. NJ78-57
photo Jacobsen

An immature fruit of of C. cordata var. cordata. The female flowers are the only part of the spathe that will survive after a successful pollination.
coll. Bogner 1712
photo Bogner

C. cordata var. cordata from Malacca was posthumous published in 1851 by William Griffith, who died in 1835. Realize that at that time only C. spiralis(1830), C. ciliata (1832) and C. retrospiralis (1841) were known. Read his article in the Document service.
drawing Griffith
H.N. Ridley, the first director of the Singapore Botanical Garden, made this drawing in 1929. This plant was also found Malacca, W. Malaysia.
courtesy Kew herbarium
unpublished drawing by H.N. Ridley
Drawing of C. cordata var. cordata in de Wit 1960b, 1990. The small plant top left is from Johore (Corner s.n.) the other plant is from Pahang (Murdoch 213). The drawing is erroneously presented as var. grabowskii from Borneo.
drawing Ike Zewald
Distribution of C. cordata var. cordata in W. Malaysia and southern Thailand. Much fieldwork had to be done to resolve the questions about the different var's in C. cordata.

See also the other Cryptocoryne of the cordata-group

Updated July 2012
Literature: see the cordata-group

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