Orchid Lily


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Retired Moderator
Aug 10, 2005
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Miami, FL
Common Name(s) - Orchid lily

Scientific name - Barclaya longifolia

Family - Nymphaeaceae

Geographic origin - Southeast Asia, though one source did say East Africa

Type (stem, bulb, rhizome, floating, etc.) - bulb

Max. size (height, width) - 30-80cm, leaf length 10cm average, about 2cm wide

Lighting required - moderate to very high

Temperature - 24-26+ degrees Celcius

Water chemistry requirements (pH, hardness) - Prefers soft water, mine, however, is growing well and flowering under moderately hard water.

Growth rates - medium

Demands - Some sources say this plant is demanding of both nutrients and lighting while others say it is relatively easy to care for. It is with the later souces that I tend to agree. Mine has done extremely well in your standard high-tech planted setup (CO2, EI, and adequate lighting).

Additional info - B. longifolia is an interesting plant. It propogates via some bulb division, but mostly through seeds. It is from the same family as the tiger lotus and has similar habits except it does not produce floating leaves. It can flower either underwater in deep tanks or at the surface as mine did. At times the flower will not open and swell with seeds, or it can open completely. After several weeks, the flower casing will rot away, exposing the seeds. The seeds can then be scattered about the aquarium where they will grow into new plants if there is adequate lighting. B. longifolia takes nutrients from both roots and through it's leaves in the water column. It is susceptable to snail infestation, but damaged or old leaves can easily be removed by clipping the leaf stem close to the bulb, as is done with Nymphaea species. It is an unusual plant, not often found in the trade according to my sources. I really enjoy it as a specimen plant in my 10g, though I highly recommend that it be placed as a specimen plant in a larger aquarium. It is going into my 36g, where it'll be combined with other lotus species, an interesting setup potentially. Below are some photos of my B. longifolia.



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