Halophila engelmannii

Halophila engelmannii, commonly known as star grass, is a unique species that's tolerant of cooler water temperatures. It has a very wide range and is found growing in the waters of Florida north to through Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. It features a single tall stem that forms an attractive cluster of 4-6 elongated leaves. Single plants only grow to about 4-6" tall. The root system spreads by lateral growth of the rhizomes at their ends and is the most common form of reproduction. Flowering is more productive in this species and it spreads throughout the ocean by the production of seeds. Sand beds that are rich in organic material are best suited for most sea grasses, but plants can be fertilized by inorganic means such as dry and liquid plant food. Overall, Star Grass is very hardy, requires only a sand bed of about 4". Although native to Florida it typically is only encountered in deeper sea grass beds so is rarely seen. All sea grass is protected in Florida so the only way to obtain a healthy specimen is to find a free floating piece at the shoreline. Unfortunately these are normally in poor condition and don't have enough root structure intact to survive in the aquarium.

Aquarium Care Information

Scientific Name: Halophila engelmannii

Common Name: Star Grass

Origin: Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Caribbean

Depth Collected: 4-200 Feet

Maximum Height : 6"

Growth Rate: Slow

Light: Moderate

Temperature: 68-82 Degrees

Propagation: Rhizomes, Seeds

Difficulty: Moderate

Food Value: Not Palatable

Nutrient Uptake: Good once established

Flow Rate: Low to Moderate

Copyright © 2024 GCE All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without the expressed permission of the author. All images are the property of Gulf Coast Ecosystems unless otherwise noted and should not be reproduced or distributed without permission.

Table of Contents