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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - October 08, 2014

From: Nederland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Shade Tolerant, Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Native Texas Plants for a Terrarium
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a 55-gallon aquarium that I would like to make into a terrarium. Are there any Texas native plants that would do well in the limited artificial light of the tank? The plants should be of varying heights no greater than about 18 inches.

ANSWER:

What a great idea to make your aquarium into a terrarium. There are several low-growing native Texas plants that like moist, shady conditions that should be great terrarium plants.
To find them take a look at the Native Plant Database on the www.wildflower.org website.  Select Texas, fern (then herb), perennial, shade, moist & wet, 0-1 feet to select the appropriate search criteria. Some of these plants may need some small trials to see how they react to growing in a terrarium setting.

First, some ferns from this search…

Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern maidenhair fern)

Argyrochosma dealbata (false cloak fern) 

Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort)  

Marsilea macropoda (bigfoot water clover)

And some herbaceous plants…

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) 

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw) 

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort) 

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Viola missouriensis (Missouri violet) 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Southern maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

Southern maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

Bigfoot water clover
Marsilea macropoda

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Fragrant bedstraw
Galium triflorum

Manyflower marsh-pennywort
Hydrocotyle umbellata

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Missouri violet
Viola missouriensis

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