Golden Elegance: Exploring the Beauty and Care of Anubias barteri 'Nana Gold'

November 29, 2023

Golden Elegance: Exploring the Beauty and Care of Anubias barteri 'Nana Gold'

The history of the Anubias plant is deeply rooted in its native habitats in Africa, where these aquatic and semi-aquatic plants have been growing for centuries.  Anubias belongs to the Araceae family, and the genus includes various species that have become popular in the aquarium and terrarium hobby. One of the most well-known species is Anubias barteri.  Here at Sunshine Horticulture the variety ‘Nana Gold’ has been added into rotation and will be ready to ship week 7-8 of 2024.

Anubias is a genus of aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants that belong to the Araceae family. These plants are native to various regions in Africa, including countries like Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast.  Anubias ‘Nana Gold’ is a relatively small plant, making it suitable for various aquarium sizes. It typically reaches a height of 2-4 inches (5-10 cm).  The leaves of Anubias Nana are thick, dark green, and have a leathery texture.  The leaves are broad and heart-shaped, attached to the rhizome.  Like other Anubias species, Anubias Nana grows from a rhizome, a horizontal stem that produces roots and leaves.  It's crucial not to bury the rhizome in the substrate, as this can lead to the plant rotting. Instead, attach it to rocks, driftwood, or other decor in the aquarium.  It is known for its tolerance to various lighting conditions. It can thrive in low to moderate light, making it suitable for aquariums with different lighting setups. It is also a slow-growing plant, which means it requires minimal maintenance.

Discovery and Introduction:

Anubias plants were likely discovered by indigenous peoples in their native regions, primarily in West Africa.  The genus gained attention for its unique appearance and ability to thrive in aquatic environments. It wasn't until much later that Anubias found its way into the international aquarium trade.

Aquarium Cultivation:

Anubias began to gain popularity among aquarium enthusiasts for its attractive and hardy nature.  Its thick, leathery leaves and rhizomatous growth pattern make it a resilient and adaptable plant, capable of surviving a range of conditions in aquarium setups.

International Trade:

The global aquarium trade saw a surge in interest in Anubias species as they were recognized for their aesthetic value and ease of care.  The plants were exported from their native African habitats to different parts of the world, reaching aquarium hobbyists who sought to create lush and natural underwater environments.

Varieties and Cultivars:

Over time, different varieties, and cultivars of Anubias have been developed through selective breeding and propagation. These variations may exhibit differences in size, leaf shape, or coloration. These developments have further contributed to the popularity of Anubias in the aquarium hobby.

Aquascaping and Biotopes:

Anubias plants have become integral components of aquascaping, a hobby that involves designing and creating visually appealing underwater landscapes in aquariums. Aquascapers often use Anubias to add texture, structure, and natural beauty to their aquatic creations.

Conservation Considerations:

As with many plants in the aquarium trade, there is a growing awareness of the need for sustainable and ethical practices. Efforts are made to ensure that the collection and trade of Anubias plants are conducted in a manner that is environmentally responsible and does not harm natural populations.  Here lies the advantage of our tissue culture operation.  Large quantities can be produced at Sunshine Horticulture with essentially no impact on the natural habitats.

Today, Anubias species, particularly Anubias barteri and our ‘Nana Gold’, remain popular choices for both novice and experienced aquarium hobbyists. Their history is intertwined with the evolution of the aquarium hobby and the appreciation for the unique beauty that aquatic plants bring to underwater environments.