The nine-leaved dentaria is a perennial, evergreen or lively aquatic plant, native to East Asia. It forms dense clumps consisting of thin elongated, flexible stems, of green color, which bear numerous compound leaves, consisting of three elements, which are arranged enlarged so as to make the whole leaf appear roundish.
The whole plant can develop completely submerged, in this case it takes on a very light green color; if instead it develops emerged from the water it takes on a more intense and dark color. In spring it produces small inflorescences consisting of white flowers, inconspicuous. These plants are also often used in aquariums; in this case they do not produce flowers, moreover, if kept at temperatures above 25-28 ° C they tend to produce very small leaflets and to have a more elongated and less dense appearance.
For the best growth of the nine-leafed dental plant it is advisable to place it on the seabed or on the edges of a water garden in a luminous place, but not directly exposed to sunlight; generally the plants of cardamine lyrata resist very well to the cold; sometimes the plants can suffer during very hot summers, to the point of drying up and going into vegetative rest, generally they reappear in autumn or during the following spring.
If the nine-leaved dental is cultivated totally submerged, the color of its foliage is light green; instead, if the plants are placed outside the water, the foliage takes on a darker color.
The specimens belonging to this variety need to be buried in a compound very rich in organic and possibly sandy material; place them in pond containers, filled with a compound consisting of peaty soil, mixed with a good amount of leaf soil and river sand; cover the upper surface of the ground with pebbles and then bury in soil submerged by water; if you want you can bury the lyrata cardamines even completely emerged, but always near a calm watercourse or a pond, so that they can find water in the ground, which is constantly needed for the development of these plants. In fact, these plants cannot withstand dry soil without high humidity.
The practice of multiplication of nine-leaved dental plants to obtain new specimens can take place by seed, in spring, sowing in a container filled with sand and peat in equal parts; keep the mixture constantly moist, but not soaked in water, in a cool, fairly bright and well-ventilated place.
These small plants can also be propagated by division of the tufts, immediately repotting the portions in a single container and carefully checking that the soil maintains the right degree of humidity. In spring it is also possible to practice stem or leaf cuttings.
Nine-leaf dental medicine - Cardamine lyrata: Parasites and diseases
Generally the cardamine lyrata plants, being rustic and resistant, are not attacked by pests or diseases.