"Alligator Weed"Cryptocoryne undulataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy "Yvonne"
A very elegant plant, the Undulated Crypt gives a serene and timeless appearance to the freshwater aquarium!
The Undulated Crypt is yet another striking species in the rossette plant group. It has beautiful thin crinkled leaves which are chocolate brown or dark green on top and rosy copper on the bottom. In some lighting conditions it is possible to bring out strong red or lavender undertones.
It will grow most beautifully alongside other species of cryptocorynes. Although it can be described as hardy, unstable water conditions or a stressful environment may cause it succumb to "crypt melt". Other than a stable environment, the Undulated Crypt requires only some form of fertilization and low to moderate lighting to thrive. Although height is variable, it rarely exceeds 6 inches (15 cm) making it ideal for the middle or front of the aquarium.
It should be noted that there is some debate in the scientific community as to the accurate classification of this plant. Also, the name "Alligator Weed" is applied to dozens of aquatic plant species including this one, so this common name is not necessarily a reliable way to identify this species.
For more Information on keeping a planted aquarium see:
About Planted Aquariums, Adding Aquatic Plants For a Healthy Aquarium
The Undulated Crypt originates from Sri Lanka.
Temperature: 75-82° F (24-28° C)
pH: 6.5 - 7.5
Light level: Low to moderate, 1-2 WPG (watts per gallon).
Once established, the Undulated Crypt will produce baby plants from the main specimen. These can be spit off and replanted once two or three leaves and some roots have formed, or they can be left to build up a dense patch.
The Undulated Crypt is somewhat uncommon, but many plant specialized retailers will carry it.