This is a short note comparing my experience with Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' and Eriocaulon 'Vietnam'. They look pretty similar and seem to grow to about the same size.
Alas, I have removed the Erio to make way for Rotala Macandra Narrow Leaf, as I embark on my own (less extreme) 'Rotala Kill Tank' journey. I will split the Erio and plant a small piece in my low tech tank.
When it comes to which plant I liked more, I feel that the Erio has the edge over the Helanthium:
- The Helanthium grows a lot faster and sheds old leaves pretty quickly. The old yellowed leaves are often at the base of the plant. Its almost impossible to trim them because they are blocked by the new leaves (i.e. you will end up cutting the new leaves). So you have to use your hands to pull out the old leaves? (I'm sure someone has a better technique than me) The Erio grows slower and the leaves last longer
- Helanthium loves sending runners. Erio doesn't. (whether this is a good or bad thing I guess it depends)
- Both are ok with being shaded, they don't need much light. The Erio in the photo above was heavily shaded by various stem plants.
- The Erio has a slightly deeper shade of green than the Helanthium which I like more.