Vietnamese water herb

tiger15

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I found an Asian grocery store that sells nursery potted Limnophila aromatica for spring planting. The plants are healthy, price a bargain, and I can't wait and bought a couple for transplant to my tank. I notice there are other potted herbs for sale, but I don't know what they are as they are in Vietnamese. So I did my research and found his web site
on Vietnamese herb.

https://www.itourvn.com/blog/a-guide-to-vietnamese-herbs

Besides popular Limnophila aromatica and Pennywort, there are two other herb, Vietnamese corianda (Rau Ram) and Culantro (Ngo Gai), that have the potential to be aquarium plants. The profiles say that they are wetland/paddy field plants, so they will likely thrive in submerged condition. I am not aware that they are in aquarium cultivation yet, so I wonder if anyone has knowledge of them.
 
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alto

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:confused: Which one was the L aromatica on the link?

How’s the smell? ;)
 

alto

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I’ve grown L aromatica back when it was on the Tropica list, I preferred the look of it over L hippuridoides
My recollection is that it was more demanding, somewhat slower growth than Tropica’s current offering (which is easy and grows under pretty much any condition, just less/more red, slower/faster growth)
 

AnhBui

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Speaking of these two, they can’t grow submerged. They are terrestrial plants.


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tiger15

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Since you are from Vietnam, you are qualified to tell me about these two herb. Both Vietnamese coriander and culantro are described as paddy field plants that can grow in or on water surface. When you say terrestrial, do you mean the leaves have to be above water but the roots can be submerged, sort like water lettuce in that the leaves will not convert under water and may rot if forced to submerge. Watercress is another example that grows better emerged than submerged, and not ornamental anyway.

I have tasted culantro in Vietnamese Pho. It is a good alternative to cilantro without the fuss growing the latter. I may just buy one and grow it in my window sill as my kitchen herb collection. I don’t think I have ever tasted Vietnamese coriander and if I did, I may not be aware of it.

I am looking for more water herb in my aquarium so when I trim them, they can also enter my kitchen table.
 
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tiger15

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Both submerged and emerged Limno aromatica transplant are doing well. The emerged one must be happy as it keeps popping up with tiny purple trumpet flowers. The submerged one looks healthy with no transplant melting. It’s only about a week. I haven't observed any submerged growth transformation yet, and wonder if if the lime green color will eventually turn pinkish.
 

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AnhBui

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Since you are from Vietnam, you are qualified to tell me about these two herb. Both Vietnamese coriander and culantro are described as paddy field plants that can grow in or on water surface. When you say terrestrial, do you mean the leaves have to be above water but the roots can be submerged, sort like water lettuce in that the leaves will not convert under water and may rot if forced to submerge. Watercress is another example that grows better emerged than submerged, and not ornamental anyway.

I have tasted culantro in Vietnamese Pho. It is a good alternative to cilantro without the fuss growing the latter. I may just buy one and grow it in my window sill as my kitchen herb collection. I don’t think I have ever tasted Vietnamese coriander and if I did, I may not be aware of it.

I am looking for more water herb in my aquarium so when I trim them, they can also enter my kitchen table.

Hm, i am not sure why they described them can grow submerged. These plants can grow near paddy fields where soil is softer e.g mud. You are right on the point that their roots can be submerged but their leaves will melt if being forced to grow submerged.

We ofter serve Vietnamese coriander with Vietnamese sandwich or various types of soup or broth or very popular Phở cuốn

295925f735036268fc0ecaf52dea5bb8.jpg


71e3245e8be869b2f894c3de299ba630.jpg


You can look for Vietnamese coriander seed and grow them easily on moist soils.


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AnhBui

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Both submerged and emerged Limno aromatica transplant are doing well. The emerged one must be happy as it keeps popping up with tiny purple trumpet flowers. The submerged one looks healthy with no transplant melting. It’s only about a week. I haven't observed any submerged growth transformation yet, and wonder if if the lime green color will eventually turn pinkish.

It is stem plant. Just cut it into small pots and plant them. Frankly let’s wait for the your test growing it submerged but seeing them change leaves colour is not a good sign imho


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tiger15

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On closer look comparing the submerge growth to immersed growth, transformation is already occurring. I counted 6 leaves per stem node in the submerged form, versus 3 in the immersed. According to Flowgrow, if the color stays lime green, I may be getting aromaticoides instead. Regardless, it is still a very pretty and tasty plant, both immersed and submerged.
https://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticplants/limnophila-hippuridoides

- Limnophila aromatica: 2-3 leaves per stem node, of variable colour, reddish hues or green (very variable species).
- Limnophila aromaticoides (often treated as synonym of L. aromatica): 3-8 leaves per stem node, overall plant colour is exclusively light green
- Limnophila hippuridoides: 6-8 leaves per stem node, colour reddish to intensively dark red.

Similar to both other species, crushed leaves of L. hippuridoides smell more or less distinctly aromatic.

I really like the tiny purple trumpet flowers. Just wonder if I need to nip them off to preserve the aroma. It's a common practice to nip off flowers growing basil to prevent it from losing the aroma and turning bitter.
 

tiger15

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We ofter serve Vietnamese coriander with Vietnamese sandwich or various types of soup or broth or very popular Phở cuốn
Tapatalk
I had Vietnamese sandwich and summer rolls before, and noticed the nice but uncommon aroma, so I might have already tasted the other herbs without knowing it. Vietnamese food is rich in culinary herb which tend to be wetland type due to the climate. Meditaranian is another region rich in herb, but they tend to be the dry land type and not used as ubiquitously as in every Vietnamese food.

I went to the store and bought a quart of the Rau Ram. The store is out of Ngo Gai and told me to come back next week. Here are pics of Rau Ram. It looks like stem plant in leaf arrangement, the color is ornamental, but it is a large plant and the stems feel woody. So it may not thrive submerged, and even if it does, it only looks good in big tank. I will plant them outdoor and may take one stem to test if it survives submerged.
 

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AnhBui

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I went to the store and bought a quart of the Rau Ram. The store is out of Ngo Gai and told me to come back next week. Here are pics of Rau Ram. It looks like stem plant in leaf arrangement, the color is ornamental, but it is a large plant and the stems feel woody. So it may not thrive submerged, and even if it does, it only looks good in big tank. I will plant them outdoor and may take one stem to test if it survives submerged.

It’s indeed stem plant. I once grew it long time ago in my house ‘s front garden when I was a small kid. Make sure you give them enough water after you cut and plant. Do not flood it because its base will rot and die before rooting


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tiger15

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Both the submerged and immersed grown Limno aromatica are doing well and here are some pics comparing the two.

The submerged Limno is growing at about 1 inch per week in medium light, CO2 tank. There are twice as many leaves per node and the leaves are longer and wider than the immersed form, but not as elongated as in pics I saw in aquarium cultivar. There is also no red at all, but the lime green is very pleasing. So I wonder if the aquarium cultivar is indeed aromatica or a closely related species.

I grow the immersed form by a window sill that receives a few hours direct sunlight in the afternoon. It doesn’t grow much faster, but keep giving off tiny trumpet flowers I had to snap off constantly. Am I correct that, like growing basil, allowing flowering can reduce the aroma and ruin the taste.

Another water herb I bought from the Asian store to try out is Vietnamese pennywort, Rau má or Centella asiatica. It actually belongs to a different genus from the Brazilian pennywort I also have in my tank which I am comparing in pics side by side. Both look similar and are edible. To my knowledge, the Asiatic pennywort has not been grown in aquarium, and I look forward to seeing how the submerged form will look and taste like.. As of now, the immersed leaves are half the size of Brazilian, the leaf edge serration is deeper, and the veins are more visible with the understanding that submerged transformation will look different.
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
I grow the immersed form by a window sill that receives a few hours direct sunlight in the afternoon. It doesn’t grow much faster, but keep giving off tiny trumpet flowers I had to snap off constantly. Am I correct that, like growing basil, allowing flowering can reduce the aroma and ruin the taste.
I don't know about the taste, but once the plant is emersed it will want to produce flowers. If you think about it in nature it is going to grow in rice paddies etc. and as soon as they become dry the plant will flower, run to seed and then die.

cheers Darrel
 

tiger15

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Hi all, I don't know about the taste, but once the plant is emersed it will want to produce flowers. If you think about it in nature it is going to grow in rice paddies etc. and as soon as they become dry the plant will flower, run to seed and then die.

cheers Darrel
You are right, as confirmed by Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnophila_aromatica So it is an annual, but in submerged cultivation not allowing it to flower, it is perennial. I grow vegetable plants and herb, and bolting is bad and should be avoided as the energy is diverted to making flowers and seeds in the expense of tender green. Are there more aquatic plants like that, letting them grow immersed and flower is to shorten their life. Too bad that those tiny blue trumpet flowers are so ornamental.

Another interesting observation is that I grow the immersed Limno in wet feet, and the leaves below the water level do not transform, rot and send out white roots. So you can’t have submerged and immersed leaves simultaneously for long.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So it is an annual, but in submerged cultivation not allowing it to flower, it is perennial.
Yes it isn't so much annual or perennial, it is just once the trigger, for flowering, is initiated it will flower and die. Botanists call these sort of plants "monocarpic" or "hexapanthic", and it even includes some Palm trees (Fishtail Palms (Caryota spp. etc.)).

In some plants the flowering trigger is day length, in some its plant size. I used to grow a similar Rice field "weed" <"Commelina (communis) diffusa"> for <"experimental purposes">, in that case it is shortening day length that causes flowering and it doesn't matter how big the plants are, they will all flower and die at the same time.

I don't know, but my guess with Limnophila aromatica is that the trigger is just becoming emersed. I've found that Hygrophila corymbosa does the same, once its decided to flower that is it death is inevitable, even if it has grown submerged quite happily for the previous ~ten years.
I grow vegetable plants and herb, and bolting is bad and should be avoided as the energy is diverted to making flowers and seeds in the expense of tender green.
That is the one, it works with plants that are potentially perennial (like Basil (Ocimum basilicum)).

For annual plants often drought is the trigger, and once flowering is initiated there is no going back. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) will bolt if it is exposed to water stress or long days, same applies to Radish (Raphanus sativus) and Rocket (Eruca sativa).

cheers Darrel
 

tiger15

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Perennial, annual and biannual refer to herbaceous plants only. Palm trees are woody, so the terminologies don’t apply. Same with bamboo, woody grass, synchronize flowering once every 20 to 30 years depending on species, but once flower, they die back.

Many perennial decline after flowering, but come back year after year. Daylily decline after flowering but recover in fall. Banana trees, probably the largest herbaceous perennial, die back after fruiting but come back from root yearly.

I think Limno aromatica is either annual or biannual if it dies after flowering. I bought mine as terrestrial potted plant and I am certain it is grown from seed. But we can fool it to live as perennial by preventing it to flower. My sagittaria send out flower stalks above water, and my Buce and Anubias flower under water constantly, and don’t die back. In fact, they only flower because they are happy, not stressed. I am curious why they flower at all under water with no agent to pollinate.
 

AnhBui

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[QUOTE="tiger15, post: 565050, member: 17191"

Another water herb I bought from the Asian store to try out is Vietnamese pennywort, Rau má or Centella asiatica. It actually belongs to a different genus from the Brazilian pennywort I also have in my tank which I am comparing in pics side by side. Both look similar and are edible. To my knowledge, the Asiatic pennywort has not been grown in aquarium, and I look forward to seeing how the submerged form will look and taste like.. As of now, the immersed leaves are half the size of Brazilian, the leaf edge serration is deeper, and the veins are more visible with the understanding that submerged transformation will look different.[/QUOTE]

I have never tried growing Vietnamese penny wort underwater either.

Just had some sorts of conversation with one of experienced hobbyists regarding this plant. He confirmed it will grow submerged. I am asking for a picture now.


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tiger15

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As an update, the Vietnamese pennywort did not workout. The last stem and leaves fell off and did not make the transformation. The Limno aromatica is doing well now within 2 inches from the surface and soon will have to be trimmed. It stays lime green, no red so it is different from the aquarium cultivar, or my light is not strong enough. I have harvested the emerged grown Limno a few times which taste good in salad, somewhere between lime and basil.
 

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