Cryptocoryne zukalii

Cryptocoryne zukalii is a very special plant. Back in the ’70s, a local collected this plant from somewhere in West Malaysia and sold it to an exporter. From there it made it over to Robert Gasser in Florida, and from there to Jan in Europe, and that’s where I got it from! However, the exact location it was collected from was never found, and it’s never been collected again! Part of the reason may be that without a spathe, this plant looks very much like C. cordata. You could be out there looking for this plant and walk right by it thinking its C. cordata. So, the plant that I have here, is a descendant of the original collection from the 70′s.

Its growth habit is very similar to C. cordata, with one notable exception; the petioles are almost always very long. Although I wouldn’t call it a fast growing plant, it propagates readily via long runners.

Last week, I noticed one of my plants starting to throw up a spathe! An exciting moment, since I’d been growing this plant for over 2 years now. Right off, you can see the spathe is very different from C. cordata. The limb appears to be very long.
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A few days later, the tube has reached its full length, and the spathe is about to open.
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Then last night, I came home from work to find it had opened up. A beautiful and elegant spathe, with the color that I can only describe as ‘Pumpkin pie’ :)
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Like pumpkin pie… :)
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Note that the color sharply cuts off to white in the tube.
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This plant is unique and wonderful. If you haven’t had the chance to grow this yet, I highly recommend it! Additionally, since it’s so close to C. cordata, I bet it will grow well submersed.