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HAP Rules



  • The HAP Chairperson shall be appointed by the installed officers of GCAS.

  • The HAP committee will consist of a Chairperson and one or more appointed members. The committee will only be needed for disputes and will be appointed at such time.

  • Committee members will be appointed by HAP Chairperson.

  • The HAP Chairperson is responsible for the overall management and execution of the GCAS Aquatic Horticultural Awards Program. The duties of the Chairperson are, but not limited to:

    • Ensure accurate and complete records are kept permanently on file.

    • Verify propagation; assign points and awards in accordance with HAP guidelines

    • Disputes will be settled by the HAP committee

    • Review HAP rules and regulation annually



The purpose of this program is to recognize and encourage achievement in the cultivation and propagation of aquatic plants and pass on information about aquatic plants and their propagation requirements. Any member in good standing of the society is eligible to participate. Plants that are illegal to keep in the state of Ohio are ineligible for this program and cannot be accepted.

For the purpose of this program, awarded points may be revoked if the aquarist does not actively participate in the society. A minimum of two regular meetings a year must be attended. The aquarist must request the chairperson to review the records when the aquarist feels the requirements for an award has been accomplished.



  • Plants reproduced must conform to the following definition of aquatic plant. “ An aquatic plant is one which in the wild or native state, can be grown in the submerged state as a normal occurrence at some time during the course of any complete season. An aquatic plant must be able to grow and reproduce while submerged.”

  • Marginal, marsh/bog/pond plants will be eligible for this program under special class E. These plants live, grow and propagate while partially or mostly submerged. They may be submerged periodically, but this is not the state in which they thrive or reproduce. Typically they are not able to live, grow or propagate in a continually submerged state.

  • Special care must be taken with regards to invasive species as it threatens the diversity and abundance of native species. No points will be awarded if propagation of plant can have a negative impact on other plant species outside of the pond/aquarium being propagated.

  • Sources checked:

  • Plants are to be properly and fully identified by the aquarist and will be verified by the HAP chairperson. Commercially produced hybrids will be awarded a maximum of 5 points.

  • Plants that are illegal to keep in the state of Ohio, cannot be accepted for HAP and will not be awarded any points, nor are they eligible to be auctioned. The plant will be returned to you.

  • Verification and registration for all species propagated are verified by the HAP chairperson once, and in the case of flowering plants they will be verified twice; when flowering and once again as prescribed in the HAP propagation requirements.

  • In order to have points recorded; the aquarist must submit the completed HAP form along with the propagated plant to the HAP Chairperson. The HAP form used must be the current form and the form must be fully completed (current HAP form is dated 2016 and can be obtained from the website, or from the HAP chairperson). If there is an unknown date for the original plant being acquired, month and year estimation will be permitted.

  • Propagation and flowering must take place at the aquarist’s tank or pond and newly propagated plant must be grown fully submersed for a minimum of 30 days prior to submission and fully meet propagation requirements. Pond plants do not need to be fully submersed, however, newly propagated plants will still need to be grown for a minimum of 30 days.

  • Any questions or suggestions concerning the HAP should be submitted to the HAP chairperson.


In order to receive credit, the following propagation criteria must be met:

  • Vegetative reproduction:

    • Cuttings (bunch plants); cuttings must have produced roots and submitted plant should have at least 4 stems with visible roots and be roughly the same size as the initial plant.

    • Floating plants need to have at least doubled in amount. Submitted plant should be at least a golf ball sized clump. (Floating plant is one that their natural state is to be floating on top of the water and not rooted in any substrate. They must be able to live, grow and propagate in this state.)

    • Adventitious; must be grown for a minimum of 30 days and exhibit visible new growth after being separated from the parent plant.

    • Runner; daughter plants must be separated from the runner and grown on their own and exhibit new growth.

    • Rhizome; single divisions from the original plant grow independently and exhibit visible new growth. Note: Bunch plants are not considered in this class.

    • Rosette; new plants must be divided from the basal rosette, grow independently and exhibit visible new growth.

  • Sexual reproduction:

    • Seed; a single plant reproduced from seed from the parent plant. Seedling(s) must grow, exhibit visible new growth and be recognized from the parent plant.

    • Spore; Spores must be produced and new plants grown from the spores exhibit visible new growth and are recognizable from the parent plant.

  • Flowering; must be verified while in bloom and attached to plant. A photo of the bloom may be emailed to the HAP chairperson.

Additionally, one of the following conditions must be satisfied:

    • Bring in a newly propagated plant for auction that fully meets the propagation requirements outlined above. Auctions will be split 75/25 (75% going to aquarist)

    • Submit a written report of the plant for the publication in the society newsletter. Report must contain everything relevant to the growth and propagation of the plant. Points will not be awarded until confirmed by HAP chairperson the article is published.

    • Present a talk or lecture at a meeting regarding growth and propagation of plant. Be prepared to talk about tank conditions, water parameters, fertilizers and/or CO2 injections and other additives? Plants grown in separate tank or with fauna? Was the original plant grown emersed and then reproductions submersed?



Participants in this program are eligible to receive awards of several types.

    • Principal (Level I). minimum of 100points

    • Advanced (Level II). minimum 300 points

    • Senior (Level III). minimum of 500 points

    • Expert (Level IV). minimum of 800 points

    • Specialist (Level V). minimum of 1,000 points

    • Master (Level VI). minimum of 1,500 points

    • Most Prolific Gardener - presented each year to the participant with the most HAP entries for that calendar year.

    • Chairperson’s Choice Award. Awarded for a HAP entry of outstanding difficulty or merit. *It is possible that this award may not be given in a given calendar year - not to be carried over

Principal, Advanced Horticulturist and Senior Awards are given after the required number of plant species points has been propagated and accredited. This will be in the form of a certificate

Expert & Specialists awards are presented after a large number of diverse species within Classes A –D and the required number of species points has been propagated and accredited. This will be in the form of a certificate and a 1 year membership to the society

Master specialist Award is presented after a large number of diverse species within Classes A –D and the required number of species points has been propagated and accredited. This award will be in the form of a plaque and a 2 year membership to the society.

Most Prolific Gardener which is presented to the participant with the most HAP entries for the calendar year will be in the form of a certificate.

Chairperson’s Choice Award will be presented in the form of a plaque.

Points will be accumulative; however, propagation of a single species will only be credited once. Additional points may be awarded if a photo of plant’s flower is emailed to the HAP chairperson. Additionally, each award level can only be achieved once. (EG. Once principal award is received, aquarist must advance to the higher awards in order to continue to get credit)

Only plants that have been turned in starting in 2016 will be eligible for the newly revised awards program.


PLANT CLASSIFICATION - The following is a list by point class. The list is not complete and is only intended as guide; *NOTE* - It is still the aquarists responsibility to verify thatplant being turned in is not illegal to keep or distribute in the state of Ohio.


  • Any Salvinia species

  • Any Sagittaria species

  • Any Vallisneria species

  • Any Duckweed (Lemna species)

  • Any Hygrophila

  • Any Riccia

  • Any Elodea

  • Any Ceratophyllum (Hornworts)

  • Any Ceratopteris species

  • Any Azolla species


  • Any Nitella species

  • Any Water Wisteria

  • Any Ambulia (Limnophila) species

  • Any Rotala

  • Any Bacopa

  • Any Cardamine species

  • Any Frontinalis

  • Any Limnobium species

  • Any Pennywort (Hydrocotyle sp.)

  • Any Lilaeopsis species

  • Any Alternanthera species

  • Any Najas species

  • Any Hydrilla

  • Any Ludwigia species

  • Echinodorus sp.(Chain Sword)

  • Any Milfoil

  • Any Cabomba species

  • Any Heteranthera species

  • Any Lobelia

  • Samolus valerandi

  • Bannana Plants

  • Any Micranthemum species

  • Any Acorus

  • Any Nuphar species NOL

  • Any Pseudo-Blyxa (Cyperus helferi)


  • Any Pistia species

  • Any Isoetis species

  • Any Cryptocoryne species

  • Microsorium pteropus

  • All Echinodorus species not in B

  • Trapa natans (Water Chestnut)

  • Water clover (Marsilia species)

  • Eichhornia species

  • Didiplis diandra (Water Hedge)

  • Gymnocoronis spilanthoides

  • All Aponogeton species NOL

  • Any Bolbitis species

  • Any crinum species

  • Any Eusteralis species


  • Spatterdocks

  • Any Anubias species

  • Any Lagenandra species

  • Ottelia alismoides

  • Madagascar Lace Plant

  • Any Aldorvandis species


  • Any Marginal marsh/bog/pond plant that has been fully identified and has been verified non-invasive to local habitat outside pond or tub propagated from.


  • Hybrids/crosses will only be recognized in this category. A maximum of five points are awarded for each variation and no points are awarded for flowering.

**HAP Chairperson may award additional points to a species of plant that is rare and more difficult to propagate. If aquarist feels that a particular species of plant should get additional points, please present the "why" to the HAP chairperson for consideration. If HAP chairperson reviews the information provided and upon their own research finds this to be accurate, then additional points will be awarded, not to exceed 10 additional points.