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Pogostemon helferi - (Hook.f.) J.R. Press, 1982

Pogostemon helferi. Aqua Spot World


This is the newest star in the aquarium world. Dao noi in Thai means “Little Star.” A perfect foreground plant, Downoi’s crinkly edged leaves and starlike shape are unique in the aquarium hobby.

Family: Lamiaceae

Other common name(s):

  • Little Star

Native range:

Habitat: Banks of creeks and rivers, sometimes underwater and sometimes emersed.

Maximum height: 10 cm (4 in)

Lighting: Low to very bright.

Placement: Foreground, midground

Water: Freshwater 20 °C (68 °F) - 30 °C (86 °F)


CO2 supplementation is not required for keeping, but it will result in accelerated growth when combined with fertilizers and bright light. Iron supplementation required.

Special Care

None required.


Runners, seeds. Small plantlets grow off the main stem.


Downoi is not difficult. It reaches for the light and elongates somewhat in low-light conditions, but it continues to thrive all the same. If planted in small clusters, it will soon fill in available space in the substrate, making for very attractive groupings. To increase the population, simply separate the individuals that grow off the main stems and gently plant in the substrate. Where it is grown emersed, Downoi produces small flowers that set seeds, which will in turn result in new plants when set in a fine, fertilized substrate with clean water and good light.

Reference: 101 Best Aquarium Plants
Image credit: ASW
Text credit: MES