Water sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) profile

Written by Maggie

Mar 20 2021

Water sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) profile

Water Sprite, scientific name Ceratopteris thalictroides, is green when young, succulent and soft. Water sprite  varies greatly in shape due to different Water and humidity conditions and can reach up to 70 cm in height.  

Water sprite picture

Water Sprite

Morphological characteristics of water sprite


Water Sprite plants are green when they are young, juicy and soft. Due to different Water and wet conditions, their shapes vary greatly and can reach up to 70 cm in height. The rhizome is short and erect, rising from the silt in a tuft of thick roots.


Leaves clustered in Water Sprite, type 2. Pedole of sterile leaves are 3-40 cm long, 10-13 cm thick, green, cylindrical, fleshy, not swollen, almost equal to the upper and lower, smooth and glabrous, compressed after drying; Blade is erect or float at a young age, etc.for can sometimes slightly shorter than leaves, long and narrow circle, 6 to 30 cm long, 3 to 15 cm wide, apex abruptly acuminate, base rounded cuneate, two to four back to pinnate deep cleft, lobes 5-8 pairs, alternate, oblique, away from each other, the lower 1-2 of pinna is bigger, can be up to 10 cm long, up to 6.5 cm wide, ovate or oblong, apex acuminate, base nearly round, heart shape or nearly flat cut, one to three feather back deep crack; Lobes of water sprite are 2-5 pairs, alternate, obliquely spreading, separate or close to each other, broadly ovate or ovate-triangular, up to 35 cm long and up to 3 cm wide, apex acuminate, acute or rounded, base rounded truncate, with a short stipe, narrow wings on either side, descending to pinnacle, deeply lobed; Terminal lobes of Water sprite  are linear or linear-lanceolate, up to 2 cm long and 6 mm wide, acute or obtuse, base extending into broad wings along the terminal pinnacle, entire, distant from each other; The second pair of pinnae are 3-5 cm from the base pair, and each pair of upward pinnae is homomorphic with the base pinnae and gradually decreases. The stalks of fertile leaves are the same as those of sterile leaves; Leaf blade of Water sprite is oblong or ovate-triangular, 15-40 cm long and 10-22 cm wide, apex acuminate, base oblong-cuneate or oblong-truncate, two or three pinnately divided; Pinnae 3-8 pairs, alternate, obserely spreading, stipitate, proximal 1-2 pairs largest, up to 14 cm long and 6 cm wide, ovate or long triangular, stipitate up to 2 cm long; The second pair of pinnae are 1.5-6 cm from the first pair, and the upward pairs of pinnae are gradually smaller and divided in one or two gyrations.Lobes narrowly linear, acuminate, cartilaginous, up to 1.5 -- 4 (6) cm long, not more than 2 mm wide, margin thin, transparent, colorless, regurgitate to the main vein, like the lid of a pseudocysts. The small veins on both sides of the main vein are connected into a network with 2-3 lines of mesh. The veins of Water sprite are long and narrow, pentagonal or hexagonal, and there are no hidden small veins. Leaves are soft herbaceous after drying, green, glabrous on both surfaces; Leaf axis and each back feather axis and petiole of the same color, smooth.

The spore

Sporangium occurs along the meshwork on either side of the main veins of the lobes of fertile leaves, sparse, brown, covered with continuous anti curling leaf margins when young, and more or less dilated at maturity to reveal the sporangium. The spore of Water sprite is tetrahedral shape, does not have the circumference wall, the outer wall is very thick, the sub-inner outer layer, the outer layer has the rib shape decoration, arranged according to certain directions. 

Ecological habits of water sprites

A Water Sprite is found in a pond, paddy field or ditch. To cure sores, hurt herbs, can be scattered blood, pull poison, young leaves for vegetables. 

Water Sprite can also grow in moist ground. It is pleasant to shade and tolerant to semi-shade. Water sprite is suitable for paddy soil and neutral and slightly acidic garden soil. The spores are very self-fertile and, once cultivated for 2 years, proliferate. Such as xerophytic planting requires a humid semi-overcast environment.

Water Sprite is native to Taiwan, South China, Japan, Okinawa, Hainan Island and other tropical areas. Water sprite is distributed in the whole territory of Taiwan flat ponds, marshes, paddy fields and widely self-generated wetlands. It is more common in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

How to care for water sprite

Tank conditions

Once you’ve bought your plant, you’ll want to make certain you’re setting it in the proper water prerequisites to assist it thrive.

Water Sprites are native to wetlands and swamps, which means they develop anyplace they can. Due to how quickly they grow, they can be located in rather deep water. In the wild, water motion is low, which enhances their subtle leaves nicely. They develop in areas with excessive mild and use that to outgrow their competition.

To replicate their herbal surroundings in your tank, make certain to hold your flora away from direct water flow. This plant is refined and the direct float can cause damage.

In phrases of water prerequisites however, this plant is hardy and will be in a position to face up to most stipulations so lengthy as the plant is healthy. The perfect water parameters are:

Temperature: 68-82°F

pH: 6.0-7.5

Hardness: KH 3-8

Medium to excessive mild levels

Low to medium water movement

Make certain that you look at your plant in the course of every water exchange to make sure that you have a healthful plant in your tank. The leaves need to be a pleasant coloration of the inexperienced and there must no longer be any damage.

Also take into account to seem at the roots if possible; test they are lengthy and that there are lots of them.

Maintenance and care

Maintaining Water Sprite is pretty fun. The largest issue you will have to pay interest to is its size.

If it takes up too much space, then it is necessary you trim some of the outer stems. Ensure that you are now not slicing the predominant stem (the one protruding immediately from the roots), as that will damage the plant and may also reason it to die.

Also hold in thought that the stems you reduce should be eliminated from the tank. If not, they will commence to structure roots and grow into a new plant.

These flowers develop at a quick tempo and they will want the vitamins to match. When they are first introduced, they may additionally even reason a nutrient deficiency as they are taking up so an awful lot nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

In order to stop this, add supplements. Powder or liquid selections are accessible and both will work simply fine.

Water Sprite

How to grow a water sprite

In order to plant your Water Sprite, begin with two or three inches of substrate (gravel or sand).

Dig a small gap in the gravel and location your plant into it. Cover the roots completely, and barely cowl the base of the stem; it needs to simply barely be visible.

You can get away with quite a whole lot of substrate due to how hardy this plant is. However, it is higher to preserve aquarium plant life in nutrient prosperous plant substrate as adversarial to aquarium gravel.

Water Sprite is first-rate in the mid to historical past of your tank. Just make certain that you are now not planting it in a direct water waft as this can harm the leaves.

Water sprite propagation

Water Sprite spores propagate easily. The mature spores of Water Sprite spores can be dispersed on wet ground in warm areas. On the other hand, they must be sown after thawing the next year in cold areas. Asexual propagation, the larva produced by the latent adventitious bud under the axilla of the old leaves, separated and transplanted. For vegetable cultivation, plant row spacing should be 12x15cm. For ornamental use can be planted under the wet cabinet or in the basin. Water surface greening can directly remove spores mixed with fine soil into shallow water.In order to promote its rapid growth, appropriate fertilization can be applied in the cultivation.

The distribution of water sprite

Domestic distribution

Yunnan;Sichuan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hubei, Fujian.Taiwan, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu. 

Foreign distribution

Water sprite is also found in Asia, Africa, and other tropical and warm areas of Europe.

Water sprite uses

Edible value

Picking the whole grass first dried in the shade for half a day, so that it wither after use. Soak the bitter taste in water, then season with vinegar and soy sauce. Water sprite has little bitter taste and no quick smell. Direct raw use contains a lot of water and has a thin taste, so it is more suitable to eat after semi-drying. The young leaves can be used as dishes.

Medicinal value

Sexual taste: sweet, light, cool. Utility: The whole grass of Water sprite disperses blood stasis and pulls poison, anticoughs and reduces phlegm, stops dysentery, disaccumulate, stops bleeding and detoxifying.T o treat abdominal ruffian product, dysentery, fetal poison, bruise injury, sore furuncle, cough, dripping and bleeding from trauma. The whole grass can be used as medicine, can eliminate accumulation, disperse blood stasis, detoxification, used for blood activating medicine and poison.

Water sprite landscape use

Water sprite is often used as an aquatic greening plant. Water sprites can be embellished in the ditch side, marsh pool, or planted as underforest vegetation, and can also be planted for indoor appreciation.

Water Sprite