Collecting in Nagano pt.2

Hello everyone!
I know it’s been an eternity since my last post. I know I’m not the best at keeping to a regular posting schedule, and that’s usually because real life gets in the way. In this case it is no different, I have started a new job a few months back and have been constantly swamped and so the blog had to take a backseat temporarily. I will do my best to put out a post when work doesn’t keep me down!

Today’s post will be about a collecting trip I took to Nagano, Japan. My last post went over a few other plants I collected from the area, and this post’s plants are from the same prefecture, but a different area.

3 friends of mine wanted to show me a special spot of theirs that they found a long time ago. This collecting spot was basically a small scenic lake surrounded by some houses, in a small town.


I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my assumption was that we would just be collecting plants near the waterline. Upon first inspection around the waterline I didn’t really see much of anything except a lot of tall grass. Though when I got closer to the water’s edge, I looked into the water and saw this.


I thought to myself, “alright now we’re in business! Ok so we need a net or something.” Then immediately one of my friends came up from behind me and threw a relatively large 3-pronged hook out into the lake.


He then slowly began “reeling” the hook back in. To my amazement, when he had gotten the hook back, he had “fished” up a good amount of 3 different types of aquatic plants.


From what I was told, there were: Najas marina, Najas japonica, and an Elodea species.

Najas marina

Elodea species

Najas japonica

This collection “method” was new to me, but nonetheless it was quite an interesting experience. Maybe some of you can apply this method to collecting some aquatic plants in the future?

We threw the hook out a few more times to collect a good amount of each of the 2 Najas species, and packed up our things to head to the next collection point.


In terms of my experiences with these plants in an aquarium setting. Both of the Najas species were relatively easy to grow in a planted tank setup with CO2 (2-3bubbles per sec), fertilizers, and strong lighting (4watts/gal).

Najas marina was quite hardy, easy-to-grow, but a little “weedy” if you know what I mean. Najas japonica was a little more difficult it was the more fragile of the 2 species. Logic suggests that, because these plants were collected from an area that is usually cooler in temperature throughout the year, these Najas would do better if the water temperature were a bit more on the cooler side. Though when I tried my hand at these plants I kept them at typical room temperature, and they tolerated it well enough.

I hope you all enjoyed this post on collecting in Nagano, Japan!
If you enjoy what you see, please feel free to leave a comment!
Thank you very much!


Hippuris vulgaris in Nagano

Hello everyone!
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Today’s post will be on a stem plant that some friends and I went to take a look at in Nagano, Japan. I have not seen this plant in the hobby at all and the reason I think for that I will cover later on in this post. I hope you all enjoy this post!

The plant that we went to look at is Hippuris vulgaris. This plant is actually well-known in this area, so much so that there is a sign nearby a stream where it is plentiful. The sign basically states a few things such as that this plant only grows in colder areas/temperatures, where else in Japan as well as other places in the world that this plant can be found (Alaska, Siberia, Greenland). Lastly that this plant is very important and unique to the Nagano prefecture. As the sign nearby this stream stated, this plant only grows in colder areas and colder temperatures. This is the reason that it is not in the hobby, not many people have the money to spend on a cooling-device for their aquariums, it is just too troublesome.
Hippuris stream sign

We found that is plant is quite plentiful in this area, both immersed as well as emersed specimens. The best explanation that I can give for the look of this plant is that it has the structure of a very leafy Eustralis/Ammania, but with translucent green (like Bolbitis) leaves.
hippuris immersed
hippuris emerged

There were also other aquatic plants in the area that were in great abundance, such as Japanese Willow Moss, Fontinalis antipyretica. The stream pictured below was full of it, the whole bottom of the stream was matted with this beautiful moss, it was really quite a sight, and the moss was so clean and healthy, just amazing!
fontinalis stream
fontinalis antipyretica

Also lots of emerged Murdannia spirata
Murdannia spirata
Including beautiful patches of immersed Elatine triandra, this stuff was everywhere!
Elatine triandra

I hope you enjoyed this post on a rarely-seen stem plant from the colder areas of our world!
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!

Shizuoka Collecting Trip part#2

Hello to all of you again!
I hope life’s been treating you all well also 🙂
Here is my 2nd installment of a small 2 part series on my recent collecting trip out in the field of Shizuoka, Japan. This post will pretty much follow the format of the previous post where I will simply be sharing with you a few of the more interesting flora that I came across while in the field, again I don’t actually know many of the names of these plants, so forgive me for that, but I hope you folks still enjoy the pictures!

As I stated previously in my last post, many of the spots we stopped at, were right on the side of the road, “easy” collecting I must say!

The below picture was of a moss that I considered one of the most interesting that day. The best way I could describe it, is that it was a tight packed mat of small stems. Each stem including the leaves were about the size of your pinkie finger, actually a larger moss.

This type of moss I found very, very little of. It was a very wet, small and soft to-the-touch species. The largest fronds were about the size of your thumb nail.

This one was another larger species, with each stem being about the size of your middle finger. Also best described as a tight packed mat of stems. This species was very dry, not near any running water, very “feathery” to-the-touch, with very fine, needle-like leaves on each stem.

Going into this trip, I was after one specific plant, and it was this fern. I like it for two reasons, it takes to water somewhat easily, and is easy to grow. The leaves are translucent-green, like Bolbitis, the largest fronds (emersed) grow to about 5-6 inches from tip to base of the leaf. If this fern is immersed, the fronds only get to about 3 inches long. The look of the leaf doesn’t change when grown under water, it just shrinks quite a bit. It is also a very slow grower, maybe 1 leaf or 2 (if you are lucky) per month. That growth rate goes for whether it is grown in or out of water.

This smaller fern pictured below, I have seen a number of times on previous trips into the field in Japan. It is not very common, but it is abundant in spots where it is found. As you can see it makes a really nice drapery of leaves, with each leaf only being about 2 inches long. This small fern doesn’t do very well under water, but I have been growing it in a terrarium for months now, and it is doing great!

I hope you all enjoyed this 2nd part of my Shizuoka collecting trip!
Take care!

Shizuoka collecting trip part#1

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and a happy new year! I’m finally back after my holidays and work life has settled down a bit ☺

My next two posts will be about a short collecting trip with a few friends that I took to a prefecture by the name of Shizuoka, it’s a prefecture that is relatively near Mt. Fuji. There was a great abundance of moss as well as a number of small ferns that I managed to collect as well as get some nice pictures of, and those are what I will share with you today. I don’t know all of the names of the pictures that will be listed below, but I figure I share them with you anyway.

Our first stop was a small spot on the side of a mountain road, you needed to only to park next on the side of the road and walk through and entrance to a small cave-like area. Here I found 2 types of Fissidens species, they were simply attached to a wall that had water running down it.

fissiden wall

Here, like in many locations we found a species of native forest freshwater crab by the name of Geothelphusa dehaani, or as it’s known in Japan “Sawagani”. We found the blue and brown morph of it, there is also a red morph variety that’s found elsewhere. I took the blue beauty home with me, and it’s currently doing very well in a terrarium.

Blue Morph
Brown Morph

Many of the spots that we hit were right on the side of the road. While driving we’d look for streams, or a place where there was running water. Some of the spots we stopped at were at the end of old narrow and beaten roads that led into the mountains. Simply said, all of the spots where we found the following plants were easily accessible.


Thuidium species

Fissidens nobilis

The follwing is one of my favorite finds, it’s somewhat difficult to find in the wild. The best way I can describe it is, is that it has clear and translucent leaves like a Bolbitis, the crown is similar to a Syngonanthus, and the root structure is rhizome-like. Previous to this trip I have collected it a number of times, but find it very difficult to make it adapt to being fully immersed. Although I took some this trip also and tried to grow it in a terrarium environment, and it is doing quite well. I will probably do a post on it at a later time.
Rhodobryum giganteum

I wish I knew the scientific name of the following moss. I had never seen anything like it before. It had very damp, soft leaves, and they were very “rubbery” to the touch.

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of a two part series on my recent collecting trip to Shizuoka prefecture!
Be sure to check back for the 2nd installment!
Have a good one guys!