AZOLLA (Azolla caroliniana) (1 lbs portion)

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About This Product

Common Name: Azolla

Family Name: Azollaceae

Native To: Cosmopolitan

Lighting: Medium


Growth Demands: Easy

Growth Form: Fern-like

Growth Rate: Fast

True Aquatic: Yes

Placement in Tank: Surface

Available As: Portion


AZOLLA (Azolla caroliniana) sold in 1 lbs portions. Green, mossy, fern-like, floating carpet. Rampant grower. Azolla caroliniana, also known as mosquito fern, is a floating, aquatic fern native to the eastern and southern United States. In its natural habitat, A. caroliniana can be found covering the surfaces of ponds, lakes and swamps. Due to its fast growing tendencies, Azolla caroliniana is infrequently used for aquariums. It can be obtained from most of the major aquatic nurseries, nonetheless.

Azolla caroliniana is a very undemanding plant for the home aquarium, requiring only moderate lighting to thrive. It is also very hardy in nature as the spores of the plant can easily survive cold weather and freezing temperatures. An interesting note is its symbiotic relationship with Anabaena, which are found in small cavities at the base of each leaf. Anabaena is a blue-green algae able to obtain nitrogen from the air and fix it in a way that makes it available for use by its host, A. caroliniana. For this reason, this small floating plant is often grown in rice fields and used as an agricultural fertilizer due to its high nitrogen content.

Pruning and propagation of A. caroliniana is very simple. To prune, simply scoop up all the undesired plants and discard in a safe manner (due to A. caroliniana's invasive tendencies, it should not be allowed to enter local waterways). Propagation is effortless --simply allow this fern to spread along the water's surface.

Depending on light conditions, this plant may be either red or a strong red. Both are beautiful and make wonderful additions to open top aquariums, bowls, and water gardens. They are great, attractive nutrient absorbers and the roots make excellent and attractive cover for fry.

Customer Reviews

  • 5
    Superb pond plant!

    Posted by Nancy Goss on Mar 26th 2010

    Floating freshwater fern that is hardy to zone 5. This lovely little mosquito inhibitor quickly covers the surface and adds color and texture. In the shade, it is a deep velvety full sun, it is a reddish-maroon. I love the artistic look of this useful little gem! For those in colder zones (like me!) the plant is useful even after frost as it is a nitrogen fixer and carries all it's nutrients into your compost for next year's gardening.