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Anubias Species & Varieties


Anubias Species, Varieties & Cultivars

Compiled By: Julia, jfg5018

We all know it is incredibly hard to maintain a planted tank with our voracious goldies. There are very few aquatic plants that will actually thrive in our aquariums. Many of us yearn for a lusciously planted tank but are limited severely in our foliage selection. So why Anubias? Simply put, they are easy to maintain, require very minimal (if any!) additional nutrients and substrate, can survive in a plethora of water parameters, and are hardy enough to withstand curious goldfish tank mates.

Thankfully, there are actually many morphologically distinct species, varieties and cultivars of Anubias to chose from! Not only do Anubias range in sizes suitable for fore-, mid-, and background arrangements but leaf-shape, and even color! Beautiful, aqua-scaped freshwater aquariums aren't just for tropical community tanks!

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Angiosperms

Class: Monocots

Order: Alismatales

Family: Aracea

Subfamily: Aroideae

Genus: Anubias

vSpecies: A. barteri, A. afzelli, A. gracilis, A. hastifolia, A. gigantea, A. gilletii, A. pynaertii, (A. frazeri: species status questionable)

uVariegata (Variegations, Varieties: var.)

wCultivar (produced in cultivation via selective breeding)


Genus Characteristics: Roundish, typically heart-shaped (cordate), incised leaves.

Often compact growth.

Broad-leaved rosettes (leaves grow upward from a rhizome)

Found naturally only in West Africa (Sengal to Angola and Zaire)

Not all species of Anubias are suitable as aquarium plants

Price per rhizome (as of 8/2013) can range from $5 for common strains to up to $85 for rare cultivars!

Species, Varieties & Cultivars:

Notations: vindicates species; uindicates variegation; windicates cultivar

vAnubias afzelii

Long pointed, elliptical leaves w/ prominent lateral nerves

Reddish brown stems

Mid Ground Plant

vAnubias barteri

Compact Heart Shaped Anubias

One of the most common available.

One of the most vigorous and smallest species

uAnubias barteri var barteri

Grows up to 45 cm tall

Leaves tend to be slightly lighter in color

uAnubias barteri var. angustifolia (Formerly Anubias lanceolata)

Narrow leaves, height 10 to 15 cm

Common aquarium plant

Still often sold as Anubias laneolata within the hobby

Elongated leaves (5-9 times long as they are broad)

uAnubias barteri var. caladiifolia

One of the larger varieties

Height in aquarium 7 to 30 cm,

Leaves 10 to 23 cm long and 5-14 cm wide

uAnubias barteri var coffeefolia: Coffee Anubias

One of the naturally occurring varieties

Green leaves w/ creamed coffee to light lavender undersides

Reddish purple stems

Less tall, more spreading

Deep, indented veins causing ruffled appearance

uAnubias barteri var. glabra N.E. Brown (1901)

(Pseudonyms: minima, lanceolata)

Narrow-leafed (lanceolate), pointed tip leaves with short petioles

Leaves: 5 to 10 cm long, 2 to 5 cm wide

Flat, creeping rhizome up to 5mm in diameter

Height 10 to 15 cm

Propagation: Tends to not grow lateral shoots, cutting the rhizome induces the back part of the rhizome that remains in the substrate to generate a new shoot

KH: 212°, pH: 6.0 to 7.5, T: 22-28 °C

uAnubias barteri var. nana: Dwarf Anubias

Dwarf creeping with heart shaped leaves

Leaves are up to 6 cm long and 3 cm wide

Height: 5 to 10 cm

wAnubias barteri var. nana eyes

Cultivar of the regular size Anubias nana

They are considerably smaller than its larger counterpart

Ideal for smaller tanks or foreground

Grows horizontal rather than upward

Stays only a few inches tall

Flowers moderately, with soft whitish green blossoms

wAnubias barteri var. nana golden

Light green to golden leaves

Color does not disappear as the plant ages or propagates

wAnubias barteri var. nana petite

Smallest variegation of the Anubias

wAnubias barteri var. nana micro

Smallest cultivar of the Anubias

wAnubias barteri var. nana Stardust

Characterized by white, light veins and mottled, marbled leaves

wAnubias barteri var. nana Wrinkled Leaf

Unique wavy-shaped leaves

wAnubias barteri var. nana Marble: Marbled Nana

Characterized by marbled leaves due to genetic mutation in DNA

wAnubias barteri var. nana Snow White

Characterized by mottled, white leaves due to genetic mutation in DNA

Color does not disappear as the plant ages or propagates

wAnubias barteri var. nana Ghost

Characterized by young, white leaves that mature to a pale, green due to genetic mutation in DNA

Anubias congensis (obsoletesee A. heterophylla)

Anubias frazeri (species status questionable)

vAnubias gigantea: Giant Anubias

Large leaves and height

vAnubias gilletii

Initially heart shaped later with long rear fringes

Leaves are arrow shaped

Grows up to 25 to 40 cm

vAnubias gracilis

Soft, textured leaves

Unsuitable for vigorous fish

Triangular shaped, light green leaves

Least robust species commonly available

Often sold as A. hastifolia (completely different species)

Does not like constant uprooting and excessive handling

vAnubias hastifolia

BIG plant with long heart shaped leaves

Leaves up to 33 cm

vAnubias heterophylla Engler (1879)

Often commercially available as A. congensis (obsolete)

Leaves are variable in size (10 cm 38 cm long), narrow to broadly lanceolate

Slightly larger than A. barteri

Leaves are a slightly paler green

Grow tall in aquariums (up to 60 cm)

Good general adaptation

Propogation: Lateral shoots off the rhizome

D: 2, KH: 215°, pH: 6.0 to 7.5, T: 22-26 °C, AH: 3

Anubias minima (see Anubias barteri var. glabra, Anubias lanecolata)

Previously considered an autonomous species, reviewed by Crusio as a variety of A. barteri

vAnubias pynaertii


Anubias by Karen A. Randall 1998 http://www.sfbaaps.org/articles/randall_01.html

Aquarium Plants Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Dr. Karel Rataj and Thomas J. Horeman TFH 1977 ISBN 0-87666-455-9

Baensch Aquarium Atlas 2 by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rudiger Riehl Tetra Press 1993 ISBN 1-56465-114-2

Baensch Aquarium Atlas 3 by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rudiger Riehl Tetra Press 1996 ISBN 3-88244-053-8

The Genus Anubias SCHOTT (Aracea) by Wim Crusio Meded. Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 79-14 (1979)

The International Plant Names Index http://www.ipni.org

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No sorry they don't! I was planning on putting photos in at some point hopefully!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2

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No sorry they don't! I was planning on putting photos in at some point hopefully!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2

Also, is congensis really obsolete. There are quite a lot of plants labeled as congensis as well as those labeled as heterophylla. The two look nothing alike, but according to this definition, they are...

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