How are all of you doing!?
Today’s write up will be covering a somewhat new ground-cover/foreground plant that has come up here in Japan. It has yet to receive a scientific name, so for now it is being called, “New Large Pearl Grass” by the hobbyists here in Japan. “Pearl grass” here is the general name for Hemianthus micranthemoides, or “HC”, and as is fitting this new plant resembles that plant, but is basically a larger version of it.
The most defining characteristics of this plant is that the leaves (almost 1/2 inch max in diameter) are perfectly round circles that come out in pairs at each node along the stem. The lack of any petiole connecting the main stem to the leaf, makes for a very compact-look. When this plant is grown to its fullest it looks like a tight mat of circular leaves. At this time there really isn’t any other ground-cover plant like it in the hobby.
Ideal conditions for this plant are soft and acidic water, with stronger (4-5 watts a gallon) lighting. Stronger lighting is ideal in that since this is a low-lying plant, less light will reach it since it will be at the bottom of the tank (assuming you will grow this in a standard size tank, and not a short tank) basically stronger lighting will be needed to penetrate the water depth, in order to give this plant the amount of light needed to flourish.
In terms of maintenance, as with most thick ground-cover plants, detritus or dead material tends to gather underneath it if there is no current around it at the bottom of the tank, creating a “dead-space”. That gathered dead material will cause the root structure to rot and die, so try to keep a current around this plant or be sure to “fan” out the dead material underneath it when you clean the tank.
Lastly here is a comparison picture (not my own) of the New large pearl grass growing next to Hemianthus micranthemoides. Here you can clearly see the size differential in the 2 plants. New large pearl grass is growing in the top right corner, whereas HC is being grown in the bottom left.
I hope you enjoyed this post on a new foreground/ground-cover plant that you can keep your eyes out for!
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!