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Starwort is so called because the young leaves float on the water surface and form a star. There are a number of different species in the family and identification is difficult because the plants are very variable - the leaf shape varies depending on the light level and water depth. For full identification the ripe fruit is required, but this is hard to find! This page is therefore compiled from various book I posess!
The plants are annuals or perennials, depending much on their environment. They can grow in deep water, shallow water or wet ground - alll of which affect their form.
The leaves vary from oval to linear and are in oposite pairs. often forming a rosette (or star) when not submerged. The flowers are tiny, green and petalless, so very easy to miss! They have separate male and femal flowers which are either solitary or paired at the bases of the leaves. Tjey flower from April to september. The fruits are 4 lobed.
The Starworts are very common in all types of temperate waters. The following species occur in Britain
As an aquarium plant, the starwort requires lots of light. It does very well in a cold water aquarium, remaining beautiful and green throughout winter, despite freezing temperatures. In the tropical tank it can also be useful, but as it requires a lot of light needs to be treated as a floating plant, so it receives maximum light. It is also useful as a food plant for fish that eat vegetation. I fond my golden apple snails are very partial to it, so it gets very fragmented!
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Document URI: nathist.torrens.org /Aqua/Callitriche.html
Last modified: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:09:58 GMT
Page first published 14th November 2002
Page written and © by Richard Torrens