Missouri Aquarium Society, Inc.

Horticultural Award Program


Founded January 1, 1992
- Revised February 1, 2016 -


 To promote and encourage the keeping and captive propagation of Aquatic Plants
To gather and disseminate information about Aquatic Plants, their cultivation, and propagation methods

To insure the availability of a variety of Aquatic Plant species for future generations of Aquarium Hobbyists


An Aquatic Plant is a plant species which, in the wild or natural state, can be found growing wholly submersed; growing emerse with its roots submerged; or floating; as a regular, normal occurrence required for its survival at some time during the course of one complete growing season.     

HAP Committee:

The HAP chairperson shall serve at the discretion of the President and the Executive Council, and shall be appointed by the incoming President at the start of each MASI fiscal year (the beginning of the first General Meeting in July) for a term of one year.  Said Chairperson shall be charged with the responsibility of maintaining and complying with the Rules of the HAP as set forth herein.  This Chairperson shall maintain accurate and complete permanent records.  These records shall be maintained in a paper and/or an electronic file at the discretion of and within the means of the Chair; with an accurate, complete record available to the general membership upon written request either via a paper copy or through electronic media such as the club Website. If an electronic file is kept, separate accurate and up to date copies must be maintained to prevent the loss of all records.  The Chairperson shall assign Points as specified in the Rules, and shall review (and amend, as needed) these Rules and Points.  The Chairperson is empowered to appoint trusted MASI members as HAP verifiers to help out as needed.   Any disputes will be settled at the discretion of the Chairperson, with advice of the Executive Council if necessary.  All such decisions rendered will be considered final.  Submission of a propagation to the program signifies agreement with all rules below. 


Proper identification is the responsibility of the entrant.  There are a wide variety of accurate sources for identification of Aquatic Plants.  Christel Kasselmann’s 2003 Edition of Aquarium Plants is a recommended source for Aquarium Plant identification, and a copy is provided for the general membership in the MASI Library. Varietals, Hybrids, and Cultivars will be identified by the Cultivar name such as Nymphaea sp. ‘Rembrandt’, etc.  Any plant identified shall require literature cited as a source for said identification.   Websites may be cited, but are not considered acceptable primary sources, except for the Tropicos database and certain other sites as approved by the HAP Committee.  New species will be assigned Points by the HAP Chairperson, with the input of the entrant.  All species identification will be verified in the Missouri Botanical Garden Tropicos plant database. 

            Entrant must be a member in good standing of MASI

As a matter of ethics, plants must be OWNED and MAINTAINED by the entrant for at least 60 days at the time of vegetative propagation.  Any plant submitted for the HAP MUST BE PROPAGATED IN THE ENTRANT’S OWN TANK OR POND.   NEW GROWTH must be submitted for credit.  For blooms, the entrant must own the plant for at least three weeks before the plant begins to bloom.  In the case where plants are purchased with blooms, fruits, or seeds, those growths are ineligible for submission. 

Entrant must identify the plant and include a citation for their identification.  The HAP Chairperson will only confirm the identification and guide the entrant to sources for proper identification.

A completed HAP Report, including references cited for identification, must be filled out and both the plant (or photo in the case of blooms) and form submitted at the time of verification for each submission. 

To receive Points for a Vegetative submission, entrant shall be required to donate their submission to MASI for auction at a general meeting or at one of the club sponsored public Auctions.  For vegetative credit to be issued, stem plants should be submitted as a group of at least 5 stems 5” or longer.  For floating plants, at least one cup of plants shall be submitted.  For others, at least one identifiable plantlet shall be submitted.  For vegetative credit for the genus Aponogeton, see special rule below.  Blooms and Seedlings need not be donated for Points to be earned, but donations are always strongly encouraged.  Blooms and seedlings may be submitted by photo. 

All submissions shall be verified one time, except for submissions of a Seedling where the entrant shall submit entry for verification twice; once for the Bloom, and once when the Seedling has grown enough to be easily identifiable.  All Seedlings submitted shall have roots, leaves, and be identifiable as to genus, at least. 

No plant species deemed a non-indigenous invasive or nuisance species or a noxious weed by the State of Missouri Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be allowed for submission.  Any entrant submitting such species BEFORE the plant is placed on such list will not have points or credit for propagation taken away, but no further submissions will be accepted.  Refer to list of prohibited species later in this document for any questionable species. 


Each species, Cultivar, Hybrid, or Varietal shall be eligible for up to 3 submissions – once each
For Vegetative (V), Bloom (IB or OB), and Seedling (S) as defined below:
Vegetative (V): The asexual reproduction by natural means or human intervention. The Vegetative propagated plant must be able to survive on its own without the parent plant.  Rhizome plants must include new growth with healthy rhizome, leaves and roots capable of surviving on its own.  This includes, but is not limited to

  1. Cuttings (from leaves, roots, stems, etc.)
  2. Budding (plantlets and bulblets)
  3. Division
  4. Runners
  5. Layering
  6. Micro propagation
  7. Aponogeton special rule:  A photo must be submitted of the plant prior to division, plus a second photo of the plants three weeks after division.  Both plants must have leaves, corm and roots, and be capable of surviving on their own. 

Blooms (IB or OB): Points are earned by bringing any Aquatic Plant into flower.  Points for Blooms shall be awarded at the following rate

  1. Indoor Blooms (IB) shall be awarded Points at the next Point level above the Point level assigned for the Vegetative propagation of the entry, save for the genus Aponogeton, which shall be awarded 10 points, regardless of species or location.
  2. Outdoor Blooms (OB) shall be awarded Points at the same Point level assigned for the vegetative propagation of the entry, save for the genus Nymphaea, which shall be awarded 10 points for an Outdoor Bloom. 
  3. All Class D (20 Point) plants shall be awarded only 20 Points for a Bloom, Indoor or Outdoor, save for the genus Nymphaea as outlined in ‘b’ above.

Seedlings (S): Points are earned by raising plants from seeds (Seedlings) produced from Blooms grown by entrant and submitted for HAP verification.  Blooms must be grown at least three weeks AFTER entrant has acquired plant.  As a matter of ethics entrant cannot submit Seedlings grown from flowers either budded or opened on the plant at the time of purchase.  Due to time constraints of the live of a Bloom, photos (either electronic or hard copy) or dried Blooms are acceptable for verification of a submission of a Bloom.  For seedling credit, entrant must submit four photos:  a photo of the bloom, the fruit, the seed and the sprouted seedling; plus submit a minimum 250 word article to the Editor and the HAP chairman about how the entrant produced the seedling. 

Prohibited Species List:

Certain plant species have not only become established in the wild, but have actually done so well that they are now considered a noxious weed or a nuisance species.  Local, State and Federal Government agencies spend many millions of dollars every year trying to control them.  No responsible hobbyist should ever keep, distribute, or discard any of these species in the wild or even down the drain.  In fact, interstate distribution or sale and/or interstate transport of these species is illegal.  These plants should be destroyed by burning.  Composting is not an acceptable way to dispose of these plants.  The species below are on the Federal list.  Currently, as of February 1, 2016, the State of Missouri List of Noxious Weeds only lists Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, and snot algae or Dydimo, Didymosphenia geminate, as prohibited Aquatic Species.  Possession, sale or any other type of distribution of either species, either whole or any part, is prohibited. 
For the most up-to-date list, check the MASI auction page Banned Species list