by Jan D. Bastmeijer ~ 2016
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Cryptocoryne matakensis Bastmeijer, K. Nakamoto & N. Jacobsen

(Document service)

It 2002 a picture of an unidentified Cryptocoryne from the Anambas Islands was shown at the ECS meeting in Zurich (CH). The impression was that the spathe looked like C. auriculata, an endemic from Sarawak. In 2009 plants collected by Kazuja Nakamoto on the islands Matak and Siantan came into cultivation and flowered (Bastmeijer et al. 2014).
The Anambas archipelago is group of relative small islands between Sumatra and Borneo and is part of the Riau Archipelago Province of Sumatra (Indonesia). Today well known because of the winning of natural gas. To understand that Cryptocoryne occur on such small islands, just realize that in the glacial period the sea level was 100m lower and Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo including the Anambas and Natuna archipelagos were connected.

Click on the picture to get the full image (ca. 50 kB)

A small stream in cultivated land on Matak island with under the bridge a patch with C. matakensis
coll. INA-04
photo Nakamoto
Downstream from that bridge submerged plants were found in a pool. They did however not survive the transport and it is not sure they are the same species (see below).
coll. INA-04
photo Nakamoto
A stream in a secondary forest on Siantan island with an abundant growth of C. matakensis.
photo Takahashi
Emerged growing C. matakensis.
photo Takahashi
Both on Matak and Siantan green and brown leaved plants were found
coll. INA-05
photo Nakamoto

The leaves may be bullate.
coll. INA-01
photo Nakamoto
Submersed growing plants with green leaves. It seems that the colour doesn't change for a given plant.
coll. INA-03
photo Nakamoto

A flowering C. matakensis found already in 2004 on Siantan.
photo Takahashi
Submersed cultivated on a thin layer of Fagus leaf litter.
coll. INA-06, cult. B 1292
A bud of C. matakensis. In adult plants there are many cataphylls, these are almost as long as the bud. You may be caught by surprise!
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
An emerged cultivated plant, the limb of the spathe just above the water.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
Close up. Note the curved margin of the limb.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
Side view. The opening of the spathe is just at water level.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
Another side view of a fully emerged plant.
coll. INA-04, cult. NJ
photo Jacobsen
The limb is forward bent. Note the ruler.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
A view from below to see the limb. Note the rough surface and the smooth throat.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
A longitudinal section through the tube of the spathe.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
A fruiting plant. The peduncle is elongated and lays on the soil.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
The opened fruit showing the seeds.
coll. INA-04 cult. B 1290
C. matakensis prepared for the herbarium
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
A longitudinal section of the kettle.
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
The top of the spadix with the male flowers pulled away from behind the flap
coll. INA-04, cult. B 1290
Van Steenis collected in 1928 a Cryptocoryne on Siantan where he found it submersed in small streams. The plant is sterile and it is not sure if it is C. matakensis.
coll. Steenis 1023, herbarium Bogor
C. matakensis is only known from the two islands Siantan and Matak of the Anambas archipelago.

C. matakensis grows very well in leaf litter of the beech tree, both emerged as submerged. In their natural habitat the pH is rather high, between 5.0 and 6.5, so you may expect that they may grow in a normal aquarium.

May 2014


  • Bastmeijer, J.D., K. Nakamoto & N. Jacobsen, 2014. Aqua Planta 39(2) : 64-71 Cryptocoryne matakensis (Araceae), eine neue Art von den Anambas-Inseln (Indenesien). (Document Service).
  • Jacobsen, N., 1985. The Cryptocoryne (Araceae) of Borneo. Nordic Journal of Botany 5 : 31 - 50.
  • Nakamoto, K. Crypto and Betta blog:
  • Steenis, C.G.G.J. van,1932. Botanical results of a trip to Anambas and Natoena Islands with notes on the vegetation of Djemadja by M.R. Henderson. Buitenzorg.
  • Wit, H.C.D. de, 1990. Aquarienpflanzen, 2nd edition, Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart.
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