Blyxa japonica
Bamboo Plant


Background History

Blyxa japonica is a beautiful green and leafy stem plant which originates in the southern regions of Asia, especially in Japan, China, and Taiwan.  This aquatic plant reach a pinnacle in popularity when it was first introduced to the hobby in the early 1990s.  From then the popularity of this plant has wavered mostly due to the large influx of other foreground plant species becoming widely available to hobbyists. Even still the rich green, grass-like properties of this plant keep it a fan favorite between Nature Aquarium Style aquascapers and plant hobbyists alike.

Aquatic plant hobbyists may refer to Blyxa japonica as Bamboo plant or Blyxa for short.

Growth Characteristics

Blyxa japonica is a moderately demanding aquatic plant that requires moderate light, ample CO2, and nutrients to exhibit its best colorations.  The leaves reach a maximum height of approximately four inches (20 cm) and form a thick patch of grassy brush. Although it resembles grass, Blyxa japonica is in fact a stem plant with a center stem and staggering leaves.

It prefers acidic water, direct light and a nutrient rich substrate.  In high light aquariums supplemented with iron, Blyxa japonica will exhibit a rich golden-red hue on its leaves.  In less light aquariums, it will take on a beautiful green coloration.

Although Blyxa japonica requires moderate growing conditions, it is an easy plant to grow. Like most stem plants, it can be difficult to hold the buoyant stem down in the substrate initially.  However, once established Blyxa japonica will grow a well sized root system and side shoots to keep itself anchored. This plant propagates easily by separating the side shoots from the base and replanting the plantlets. 

Aquascaping Application

Blyxa japonica is commonly planted in the foreground and midground areas of a planted aquarium.  It often serves as transitional plants between the midground to background in larger aquariums or as a background plant in nano aquascapes. 

Aquascapers enjoy placing this plant in front of large midground rocks and pairing it with low growing foreground plants such as Glossostigma elatinoides or Hemianthus callitrichoides

Plant Profile
Scientific Name: Blyxa japonica
Common Name: Bamboo Plant
Difficulty: Easy
CO2 Requirements: Moderate
Lighting Requirements: Medium
Plant Arrangement: Foreground
Growth Rate: Moderate
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Blyxa
Origin: Asia
Plant Type: Stem
Water Hardness: Medium (GH = 9-13 dH)