Pickerel Weed

Pontederia cordata

Pontederiaceae - Pickerel Weed Family

Pickerel Weed is a perennial aquatic plant native to the Americas, ranging from Canada to Argentina.1 It grows its large spike of flowers in the summer; the flowers can be white, blue, or purple.3 Although the plant is visited by a variety of insects, there is one bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) that only visits Pickerel weed.1 Waterfowl eat the fruit off of the plant. The plant can become invasive, but they are very efficient biological filters of polluted water in artificial wetlands like Furman Lake. Pickerel Weed can grow up to 3 ½ feet tall2, its leaves are shiny-green with a heart-to-lance shape that grow up to 7 inches long.3 The flowers that grow on the spikes of the flower are of a violet-blue color. To grow this plant it requires moist and wet soil with sunlight and some shade. Its native habitat is in marshes and ditches, and it can grow under a foot of water.

References and Useful Websites:
2 Aquaplant - Texas A&M University
3 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - University of Texas

This page was prepared by David Brown, BIO 102, Fall 2011

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