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Aponogeton abyssinicus

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Alismatales

Familia: Aponogetonaceae
Genus: Aponogeton
Species: Aponogeton abyssinicus

Aponogeton abyssinicus Hochst. ex A.Rich., Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 351 (1850).

Aponogeton abyssinicus var. albiflorus Lye
Aponogeton abyssinicus var. cordatus Lye
Aponogeton abyssinicus var. glandulifera Lye
Aponogeton abyssinicus var. graminifolius Lye
Aponogeton boehmii Engl.
Aponogeton braunii K.Krause
Aponogeton hildebrandtii Eichler
Aponogeton leptostachyus var. abyssinicus (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Engl. & K.Krause
Aponogeton leptostachyus var. minor Baker
Aponogeton oblongus Peter
Ouvirandra hildebrandtii Eichler (

Native distribution areas:

Richard, A. 1850. Tentamen Florae Abyssinicae seu enumeratio plantarum hucusque in plerisque Abyssiniae provinciis detectarum et praecipue a beatis doctoribus Richard Quartin Dillon et Antonio Petit (annis 1838 – 1843) lectarum. Vol. 2. 518 pp. Arthus Bertrand, Parisiis [Paris]. BHL Reference page.
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]


International Plant Names Index. 2018. Aponogeton abyssinicus. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 25 2018.
Hassler, M. 2018. Aponogeton abyssinicus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Oct. 25. Reference page.
The Plant List 2013. Aponogeton abyssinicus in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Oct. 25. 2018. Aponogeton abyssinicus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 25 Oct. 2018.

Aponogeton abyssinicus is an amphibious plant found in east and central Africa, from Ethiopia to Malawi and Zaire. Root stock tuberous or oblong, up to 2.5 cm diameter. Submersed leaves initially strap-shaped, up to 12 cm long and 6 mm wide, continuing lanceolate to obovate, up to 8.5 cm long, 2.6 cm wide and up to 10 cm long petiolate. Blade thin and slightly transparent, with a narrowing or decurrent base and acute or obtuse apex. Adults floating, up to 50 cm long petiolate. Floating leaf blade linear to ovoid, rarely cordate, up to 16 cm long and 5 cm wide, usually considerably smaller. Emersed leaves shaped like the floating leaves, slightly leathery and shorter petiolate. Peduncle up to 45 cm long, angled, dark red to green coloration, slightly pubescent underwater, almost glabrous above water, not swollen under the inflorescence. Spathe 1.0-1.6 cm long, caducous. Inflorescence featuring two 1.5-5-cm long spikes with omni-lateral flowers; 2 tepals, violet or white coloration; 6 stamens (none in apomictic plants); 3 carpels (up to 7 in apomictic plants). Fruit up to 7 x 2.75 mm large, with (4-) 7-10 seeds, sized 1-2 x 0.75 mm, double testa.


The specific epithet, abyssinicus, is derived from Latin and means "Abyssinian" or "Ethiopian", referring to the plant's occurrence there.[1]

Aponogeton abyssinicus populates shallow, usually temporary waters up to an altitude of 2,700 metres (8,900 ft). White-flowering plants (usually violet-flowering) were collected by the author in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, where very few specimens were located only on the edges of a permanent water in shallow depth, occasionally also completely emersed in a moist substrate.

Aponogeton abyssinicus is a rarely imported plant, the maintenance of which is entirely possible in an aquarium. For cultivation, preferably soft water as well as nutrient-rich and loose substrate is recommended. The best water temperature is 24–28 °C (75–82 °F). In the aquarium, the white-flowering form of A. abyssinicus forms a 15 cm wide and 10 cm tall rosette consisting of light green leaves, so that it may be considered for the foreground. The floating leaves, which only rarely form in aquariums, should be removed so that the later leaves will again remain short petiolate. An emersed or semi-aquatic keeping is possible under conditions of high humidity. Best cultivation results are achieved in shallow water. Propagation can occur only sexually through the very tiny seeds. Though they mostly germinate well, the rearing of the young plant is, in fact, extremely difficult and requires a lot of effort.

Eggli, Urs; Newton, Leonard E. (2004). Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. p. 1. ISBN 978-3-540-00489-9. Retrieved 14 November 2018.

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