Amazon Sword: Taxonomy, Care, and Propagation

The Amazon Sword is a prevalent choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Its vibrant green leaves and hearty structure enhance any aquarium. Being a low-maintenance plant, it’s perfect for both novice and experienced hobbyists. With proper care, it can be a stunning addition to your aquatic setup. Let’s dive deeper into understanding the Amazon Sword.

amazon sword

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What is Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus)?

When we discuss Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus), we’re talking about one of the most loved and recognized aquatic plants in the aquarium hobby. Originating from the wide range of lush, tropical regions in Central and South America, the Amazon Sword showcases itself with broad, bright green leaves radiating from a central stem.

  • Perfect for beginners: It’s an excellent choice for beginners because of its hardiness and adaptability.
  • Flexible habitat: This plant can survive in various conditions.
  • Aesthetic appeal: The Amazon Sword is often used as a centerpiece in aquariums due to its attractive appearance.

Here’s a wonderful fact! The name Echinodorus amazonicus has its roots in Greek and Latin languages. “Echinos” means hedgehog, while “doros” translates to a leather bag or skin. The term “amazonicus“, on the other hand, signifies its Amazon origin.

Traits Amazon Sword
Class Magnoliopsida
Family Alismataceae
Genus Echinodorus
Species amazonicus

The Amazon Sword unmistakably belongs to the Echinodorus genus, which includes around 30 unique species of perennial aquatic plants. In fact, it is the maximum leaf growth and the capacity to adapt to an array of water conditions, that make Echinodorus amazonicus a popular choice amongst aquarium hobbyists.

Hence, if you’re seeking to add an exotic touch to your aquarium with a plant that’s easy to grow and care for, the Amazon Sword is the perfect choice for you! Remember, it not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium but also provides shelter for your aquarium inhabitants.

Where Does Amazon Sword Fit in the Plant Taxonomy?

The Amazon Sword, or Echinodorus amazonicus by its scientific name, falls squarely within the Alismataceae family. This family, commonly referred to as the water-plantain family houses approximately 96 species across 11 genera.

  • The plant kingdom (Plantae) houses the Echinodorus amazonicus.
  • Within this kingdom, the vascular plant group, constitutes the next level of taxonomy where the Amazon Sword belongs. This encompassing collective is distinguished by their ability to circulate nutrients via specialized systems.
  • Proceeding in the taxonomic hierarchy, the Amazon Sword is classified under Monocotyledons (Monocots). These are plants that sprout a single leaf when they germinate.
  • Within this class, Echinodorus amazonicus falls under the order Alismatales, which represents flowers that develop in water mediums or moist soil.
  • As we drill down deeper, we reach the Alismataceae (water-plantain family), which houses our beloved Amazon Sword.

The Amazon Sword represents the Echinodorus genus, and within that umbrella, it is classified as Echinodorus amazonicus. This precise classification not only gives us a glimpse of the Amazon Sword’s biological heritage, but it also provides us with a framework of understanding its innate traits and favored conditions.

While all these scientific terms may seem a bit overwhelming, they’re crucial in understanding the care requirements for this plant. By appreciating its place in the botanical hierarchy, we can better anticipate its needs and offer tailored care.

Think of the plant taxonomy as a detailed guide to plant care—with each tier giving you more insight into your Amazon Sword’s ideal environment.

What are the Natural Habitats of Amazon Sword?

Amazon Sword, known scientifically as Echinodorus amazonicus, flourishes in its native habitat. You’ll find this magnificent species thriving in the tropical freshwater environments of Central and South America, especially in the Amazon River basin.

  • The Amazon Rainforest, parts of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil house this unique species.

Keeping these habitats in mind, when replicating their living conditions, a few things are crucial:

  • Freshwater: The Amazon Sword thrives in freshwater, making it perfect for freshwater aquariums.
  • Tropical climate: It is accustomed to the warm temperatures of the tropical regions, and prefers water temperatures between 60.8 to 82.4°F (16 to 28°C).
  • pH Levels: The plant can thrive in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water conditions, with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Water hardness (dH): Amazon Sword plants typically flourish in water with a hardness between 8 and 15 degrees dH.

Understanding the natural habitats of the Amazon Sword plants helps to mimic their ecosystem in your own aquarium. They’ll flourish as they would in their natural environments, making your aquarium an oasis for these stunning plants.

Given their resilience and adaptability, Amazon Sword plants can be raised successfully even by beginners, making them a common favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.

What are the Morphological Characteristics of Amazon Sword?

The Amazon Sword plant (Echinodorus amazonicus) is known for its distinct morphological characteristics.

  • Size: Depending on the species and the condition of the plant, Amazon Swords can grow anywhere from 12 to 20 inches (30.5 to 50.8 cm) tall.
  • Leaves: Amazon Sword displays a rosette formation with bold, bright green leaves extending from the center. The leaves are typically 16-20 inches (40.6 to 50.8 cm) in length and can vary from narrow to broad.
  • Color: The plant’s leaves are mostly green but can be tinged with red, brown, or even purple hues.
  • Root System: They have deep, robust root systems that require a thick substrate.

The morphology of Amazon Sword isn’t just aesthetic. Each feature contributes to its survival and propagation.

  1. Leaves: The broad, long leaves of Amazon Sword help it to absorb maximum sunlight and nutrients, vital for photosynthesis.
  2. Color: The range of color variations suggests an adaptation that allows the plant to photosynthesize effectively under a range of light conditions.
  3. Root System: A strong root system helps the plant anchor in loose substrates often found in its natural habitats, allowing it to withstand current and water movements.

These unique physical features, combined with its adaption abilities, make Amazon Sword a standout star in aquariums.

Characteristic Description
Size 12 to 20 inches (30.5 to 50.8 cm)
Leaf Formation Rosette
Color Mostly green. Can be tinged with other colors.
Root System Deep and robust

How Do Amazon Sword Plants Grow?

Amazon Sword plants indeed present a fascinating growth pattern worth inspecting. To start with, these plants are rosette-forming, implying they sprout leaves from a central point, forming a beautiful rosette.

Next, their root system is noteworthy. It is distinct, and tends to be:

  • Compact
  • Busily branching out
  • Adept at absorbing nutrients

The roots play a critical role, facilitating efficient nutrient uptake from the substrate. An interesting observation here is that the Amazon Sword thrives best in nutrient-rich substrates.

Let’s now discuss growth pace and preferred conditions. Amazon Swords are neither fast nor slow growers. They strike a balance, falling somewhere in between. Remember, the conditions you provide strongly influence their growth rate.

  • Water Conditions: Amazon Swords prefer specific water conditions for optimum growth. That would be 60.8-82.4°F (16-28°C) temperature, 6.5-7.5 pH, and hardness between 8-15°dH.
  • Light: They demand moderate to high light conditions.
  • Nutrition: A nutrient-rich substrate and additional fertilization boost their health.

In essence, while Amazon Sword plants adapt to different environments, they grow most effectively when provided with conditions mimicking their natural habitat. Thus, creating an ideal setting stimulates rapid growth and cultivates their vibrant green color, rendering them the centerpiece of your aquarium.

Amazon Sword really shines when you shift your lens towards the aquarium hobby. There’s no denying that this plant has captured the hearts of many aquatic enthusiasts worldwide. Here’s why:

Firstly, its ease of care tops the list. Unlike many aquatic plants, this species doesn’t demand special CO2 boosters or specific nutritional requirements. It can thrive under basic care, making it a go-to choice for beginners and experts alike.

In terms of appearance, Amazon Sword stands out. Its vibrant green leaves, ranging from 10-14 inches (25-35 centimeters), create a stunning layout. The plant’s tall and wide size fills a substantial part of the aquarium, giving it a lush, filled-out look. Aesthetic and practical, wouldn’t you agree?

MoreoverAmazon Sword is a versatile species, comfortably slotting into different parts of the aquarium. It could serve as a stunning backdrop or a centerpiece, depending upon your design preference.

A crucial aspect where Amazon Sword scores high is its compatibility with a broad spectrum of fish and aquatic species. Its leaves provide a safe place for tiny fish and shrimps to hide, and some breeds even use it to lay their eggs.

Finally, to top it off, Amazon Sword is known to improve aquarium conditions. How? They are efficient nutrient absorbers and excellent at oxygenating the water, which contributes to the overall health of the aquarium inhabitants.

Now, don’t these reasons make it clear why Amazon Sword is formidable in the aquatic hobby world? It’s easy to see why this plant is undeniably a staple in many aquariums worldwide. Not only does it serve as a prime object of beauty, but it’s also hardy, versatile, and beneficial to the aquatic ecosystem.

What are Some Common Species of Amazon Sword?

When you step into the realm of Amazon Sword, you’ll find a variety of species each exhibiting unique flair. The abundance of species is a testament to its adaptability and versatility.

  • Echinodorus Amazonicus: Named after the Amazon River, it’s the quintessential Amazon Sword. This species shines in its idyllic simplicity. It thrives in moderately lit aquariums and can grow quite tall.
  • Echinodorus Bleheri: Often mistook for E. Amazonicus due to similar characteristics, E. Bleheri often grows larger. It has broader leaves and can reach a height of 23.6 inches.
  • Echinodorus Grisebachii: Known commonly as ‘Bleher’s swordplant’ or ‘Amazon sword,’ Echinodorus Grisebachii is highly coveted. It’s known for its resilience and luscious deep green color.
  • Echinodorus Ozelot: This variant is known for its striking spotted leaves that resemble the coat of an ocelot. The dots on leaves vary from deep green to reddish brown.
  • Echinodorus tenellus: Also known as ‘Pygmy Chain Sword,’ this species is petite compared to its larger counterparts. It extends to a height of just 3.9-5.9 inches (10-15 cm).
  • Echinodorus Red Rubin: This hybrid species is treasured for its impressive red hue. It’s a medium-sized plant that can grow to be about 11.8-15.7 inches (30-40 cm) tall.

The beauty of the Amazon Sword species is they are visually striking yet undemanding. They’re versatile, adaptable, and will enhance the aesthetics of any aquatic environment they’re planted in. Each species has its quirks and provides an opportunity to learn and understand nature’s subtleties better.

How is Amazon Sword Propagated?

Propagation of Amazon Sword is a pretty straightforward process. In most cases, you’ll observe a long stem growing from the center of the mother plant.

  • Step 1: Wait for this stem to grow long. As it extends, you’ll see small bunches of leaves appear. These are your future Amazon Swords.
  • Step 2: Once these bunches of leaves grow significant roots, it’s time to cut them off the stem.
  • Step 3: Plant these offspring in the substrate of your tank to establish a new Amazon Sword plant.

Propagation takes advantage of the natural lifecycle of the plant. Healthy, thriving Amazon Swords sprout these stems on their own. That means if conditions in your aquarium aren’t conducive to this growth, then it might be a signal to check your water conditions or nutrient levels.

Consider testing your water parameters to make sure that they are within the recommended ranges for optimal growth, which are:

Parameter Range
Temperature Between 60.8 and 82.4°F (16 and 28°C)
pH Between 6.5 and 7.5
dH Between 8 and 15°dH

Once you’re ensuring your Amazon Swords are healthy and their environment is suitable, propagation can happen organically. With proper attention, your Amazon Swords can keep multiplying, providing a lush, green haven in your aquarium.

What are the Health and Maintenance Requirements of Amazon Sword?

Amazon Swords require consistent care for optimal health. These green beauties thrive best when provided the right conditions, as outlined below:

  • Water Conditions: By and large, Amazon Swords grow best in water temperatures ranging from 60.8-82.4°F (16-28°C). Maintaining the pH within the range of 6.5-7.5 is vital. The degress of hardness (dH) of the water should ideally be between 8-15°.
  • Light Requirements: Amazon Swords should be exposed to low to medium light. Use an LED light for best results. Around 10-12 hours of light per day will suffice.
  • Substrate: Plant your Amazon Sword in a nutrient-rich substrate. This means you’ll want a soil that’s high in iron content.
  • Tank Size: Ideally, use at least a 10-gallon tank; larger is better. These plants grow relatively tall and need sufficient space.
  • Co2 Supply: While not absolutely necessary, a Co2 supply will significantly boost growth.

Sustain these conditions and your Amazon Sword will thrive. Granted, maintenance is necessary as well. Regularly trim any yellowed or damaged leaves. Prune actively to promote a bushier growth.

Although Amazon Swords are relatively robust, they’re prone to algae growth. To prevent this, don’t over-feed your fish and clean the tank regularly.

What Makes Amazon Sword a Unique Plant?

The uniqueness of the Amazon Sword plant lies in its rugged versatility and stunning aesthetic appeal. This striking plant, Echinodorus amazonicus, is an appealing addition to any aquascape due to its distinctive characteristics.

Firstly, the Amazon Sword is highly adaptive. It flourishes in varying water conditions, be it in the range of 60.8 to 82.4°F temperatures, 6.5 to 7.5 pH levels, or 8 to 15°dH hardness. This adaptability means the plant is easy to incorporate into a variety of aquatic environments.

Secondly, this plant’s morphological elegance cannot be overstated. Amazon Sword boasts long, sword-like leaves, hence the name. These leaves serve a specific purpose; they grow toward the light, creating a fortress of greenery that provides shelter to smaller fish.

Thirdly, Amazon Sword exhibits vigorous growth. Once in a nurturing environment, this plant can quickly dominate your aquarium, filling it with luxurious greenery. This rapid growth can, in fact, bring a touch of wild, untamed Amazonian jungle into your aquarium.


There you have it – an overview of the Amazon Sword plant, its taxonomy, care, and propagation. Aren’t these plants fascinating with their unique attributes and easy upkeep? Feel free to leave a comment about your experience with Amazon Sword or any additional tips you might have.

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