Red Flame’ is an especially decorative Echinodorus cultivar, selected by the famous breeder Hans Barth sen. (Dessau, Germany) in the 1990s. It reaches a moderate height of about 30 cm and develops a dense rosette of many leaves. Its underwater leaves have an about 10 cm long stalk and a 20 cm long, 10 cm wide blade. Especially the younger leaves show a contrasting pattern of densely set dark-red blotches on bright brown-red to light green ground. Also on older leaves, the spot pattern is still visible. The blotch pattern is stronger and denser than in the similar Echinodorus ‘Ozelot’.
As most sword plants, this cultivar is mostly delivered by the nurseries in its terrestrial (emersed) form, with rather inconspicuous green leaves. Once planted in the aquarium, submerged leaves will appear, showing the full splendour of this plant.
As well as virtually all Echinodorus, ‘Red Flame’ grows best with abundant macro- and micronutrient supply via the substrate. Strong lighting with high red component enhances the intense coloration of the submerged foliage. The water parameters are of subordinate importance, however CO2 supply promotes the growth. Occasionally inflorescences may appear, developing adventitious plantlets.
With its bright coloration and striking pattern, Echinodorus ‘Red Flame’ is a realy eyecatcher in the aquarium. It provides a strong accent in the midground. With its relatively small size it is also suitable for the background of smaller, to about 30 cm high tanks.