In aquarium literature this plant is incorrectly named as Rotala Rotundifolia. It is a native of Asia, later naturalized in the paddy fields of Italy. They have a horizontal creeping stem on wet soil. The dark green aerial leaves are spathulate and 0.5-1 CM long and 0.3-0.5 CM broad. They bear pink flowers on the axes of the leaves. Submerged leaves are spathulate, light green on upper surface and whitish green below. They prefer slightly acidic water.
The rich color of this light loving species makes it very popular among hobbyists. The submerged leaves (up to 3 CM long and 1.5 Cm broad) are elliptical or egg shaped. They are longer and wider that those of Rotala Rotundifolia and are pale green on upper side and red to pinkish on the underside. However, in presence of strong light the whole leaf turns bright red.
This elegant plant from South East Asia is one of the most beautiful aquarium plant. The submersed leaves are filamentous, arranged in whorls of 6-9 and 1.5 CM long and less than 0.1 CM broad. The leaves are brownish green to bright red. Rotala Wallichii "Long Leaf" has similarly arranged leaves on its stem but slightly longer than the former one and more adaptable to aquarium conditions. Under strong light the shoot tip of these plant species turns bright red.