Hornwort is so-called because its leaves are divided and forked into narrow segments like the branches or tines of the antlers or horns of a Red Deer stag.
Hornwort grows underwater. It even flowers and fruits underwater. It has no roots and floats freely just below the water surface.
It differs from all other water plants in that its leaves come off the stem in whorls or rings and are forked in very narrow, needle-like segments.
Small frogs and other wildlife are protected by Hornwort in ponds. Hornwort aquarium plants may be a good choice for fish tank owners.
It is useful for oxygenating captive fish but can also grow quickly and become a problem. Hornwort coontail leaves can be arranged in delicate howls of up to 12 leaves per whorl. Each leaf is split into multiple segments and has bendable teeth at its midribs.
Each stem can quickly grow to 10 feet (3 meters). It has a rough texture and resembles a raccoon tail. The plant produces tiny, barbed fruits after it has borne male and female inconspicuous flowers.
Ducks and other waterfowl eat the fruits. In ponds, Hornwort can be found up to 7 feet (2m) deep.
Hornwort is not a root plant and instead drifts about untethered. They are evergreen and perennial.
Hornwort Aquarium Plants
Coontail is a trendy aquarium plant. It is inexpensive, easy to grow, and attractive. It can be used to conceal fry or add beauty to aquarium displays. It oxygenates the water and prevents algae growth.
It releases chemicals that kill other species. The allelopathy can also be useful for wild plants. The Hornwort found in ponds shares similar characteristics and can withstand temperatures as high as 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 C.). This is in full sun or full shade.
For a decade, PLANT not seen in the North East has been discovered in the ponds at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Big Waters nature reserve.
Rigid Hornwort is a floating aquatic plant with dense whorls of bristly, deciduous dark green leaves borne on delicate stems.
At first, these stems are rooted, but they break loose during summer and float to the surface.
The plant prefers nutrient-rich water, and it can be used in aquariums as an effective oxygenator.
It secretes substances that suppress algae growth, which can help prevent the problems caused by algal blooms.