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 striolata Engler

Cryptocoryne striolata is rather well known. The plants is widespread in Borneo and is collected (and shipped) many times. But it is nearly impossible to grow this very nice plant in an aquarium. Even in emersed culture this one is not easy to grow for a long time. This web page deals mainly on the variation in this species. It proves to be very difficult to recognize not flowering plants because of the variation in the leaves.

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Typical inflorescence of Cryptocoryne striolata. Note the very slender tail of the limb. A collar lacks.
coll. hort., cult B183
The limb may be yellowish. The throat is almost black to purple red or may be red dotted.
coll.& cult. NJ78-1
photo Jacobsen
Fresh imported specimen flowering and fruiting in Zurich (CH).
coll.& cult CK74-78.
photo Kettner
De Wit cultivated this specimen of C. striolata in the Wageningen hothouses (ca 1970).
coll. H. Ong?, cult. WAG
photo de Wit

1999, Yuji Sasaki collected C. striolata in Sarawak. Note the dark, almost black bullated leaves.
coll. TB2
photo Sasaki

Jacobsen collected this striolata with green even leaves.
coll. NJ78-49
photo Jacobsen
Variation in the leaves from plants collected very close to each other.
coll. NJ78-1 and 78-3.
photo Jacobsen

Also in culture, the leaves of C. striolata are variable. The older (green) leaves are the 'import' leaves.
coll. hort., cult. B183
Cultivated specimen of C. striolata ( C. gracilis ). Note the long, bullated leaves. See the the herbarium sheet below.
coll.H.Ong?, Wit 35690
photo de Wit

The older leaves almost black with the young leaves coming out brownish.
coll. CK s.n.
photo Kettner
An even leaved specimen with distinct striping on the leaves.
Coll. NJ 78-3
photo Jacobsen

When the fruit (syncarpium) opens, the seeds will germinate immediately. Note the only 4 parts of the fruit.
coll. H.Ong?, cult. de Wit 35692
photo de Wit
Male flowers of C. striolata. The appendix (just above the flowers) is rather dark in this specimen.
coll. hort., cult B183
Female flowers of C. striolata. They are not as well developed as in the plant at right.
coll. hort., cult B183
The spadix is rather short in this inflorescence. Note the red spots on the valve.
coll. TB2.
photo Sasaki
The herbarium sheet Pursegrove collected in 1956, which de Wit used for his description of C. gracilis.
coll. Pursegrove 5361
herbarium Singapore
Beccari visited Sarawak in 1878. Plate XXVII in Beccari 1882 with top left C. striolata
Drawing of C. striolata var. gracilis and C. striolata var. ongii (de Wit 1990)
drawing Ike Zewald
Drawing of C. striolata var. gracilis (de Wit 1990).
drawing Ike Zewald
Known distribution of C. striolata in Borneo. As the Southern and Eastern parts are less investigated, the distribution may be larger.

Cryptocoryne striolata is characterized by its slender spathe which ends with a long tailed, narrow limb. The limb is even and has a yellow to redpurple color. The throat is distinct colored with a red zone, sometimes downwards with red spots. There is no collar present. De Wit distinguishes three var.'s based on the variation in the color of the limb. It proves not to be a very good distinction for that and is not followed. On the other hand, variation in the leaves, both in nature and - in the same material - in culture, make it impossible to put any decision about the identity of not flowering plants. This situation is not unusual in Cryptocoryne.
The chromosome count for C. striolata is 2n=20. This is quite remarkable for it is only shared with C. keei and C. hudoroi, two other species from Borneo. The spathes are rather close, the leaves of both other species are rather long with a strong bullated surface (Bogner 1989).

Updated January 2000


  • Arends, J.C., Bastmeijer, J.D. & Jacobsen, N.,1982. Chromosome numbers and taxonomy in Cryptocoryne (Araceae).II. Nord.J.Bot. 2 : 453-463.
  • Beccari, O., 1882. Aracee della Malesia e della Papuasia raccolte da O.Beccari..Malesia 1 : 296-300, Plate 27-28. (Document service)
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