Vesicularia montagnei is a recent addition to aquatic mosses used in planted aquarium. As a new arrival in the mid-2000s, botanists are uncertain of its proper classification and exact region of origin. However, it mostly likely appeared first in Asia, where hobbyists found its frond structure unique and interesting compared to other mosses.
Vesicularia montagnei is better known commonly as Christmas moss or Xmas moss.
Vesicularia montagnei, like most mosses, is undemanding and require little attention to grow. It is slow growing, can grow in a wide range of lighting conditions, and does not require extensive carbon dioxide or fertilization. Cooler water between 64-74 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 Celsius), carbon dioxide injected, and moderate lighting produces the best growth.
Its defining characteristic is the triangular leaves (fronds) it produces which resemble a Christmas tree. These leaves are most pronounced under high light and lightly draped over objects such as driftwood. The fronds will grow on top of one another to form a “fluffy” moss blanket.
In lower lighting conditions, growth is remarkably denser and the fronds are more compact. The “Christmas tree” frond structure is less apparent under these conditions.
Vesicularia montagnei is easily propagated by cutting strands and relocating them.
Vesicularia montagnei is similar to most other mosses in aquascaping technique. It can be attached to driftwood, stones, and other objects as decorative elements. It is best placed in an area where it can be allowed to grow into a fluffy bush, and drape slightly to showcase its unique frond structure.
Photo Credit: Hamza Syed