The botanical name of stoneworts

Gunn and Blueworld Gardener have asked what the botanical name of stoneworts is.

As a group of plants, stoneworts are members of the Class of plants called the Charophyceae (Char-o-fy-si), usually anglicised by botanists to charophytes. In the same way, the Insecta, the insects, are a Class of animals. 

Most stonewort species found in Britain are either in the genus Chara or Nitella and there are 20 or so species in each genus.

I’ve never seen them on sale. To get some, find a local source and get permission from the landowner to take a handful. You’re very unlikely to do any harm doing this.

You shouild stay away from nature reserves, or other special places, if you’re thinking of doing this because in these places you might accidentally pull up or disturb an animal or plant which is protected under law from any kind of disturbance. You should also be careful not to spread alien plants.

To suceed in growing them you need very low nutrient levels, often (but not always) with plenty of calcium.

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