Pickerelweed

picture of pickerelweedPontederia cordata

Family:
Pontederiaceae

Lifecycle:
Perennial

Native or Introduced:
Native

Nutrient Removal Rating:
Medium

Wildlife Value:
Medium

Invasiveness:
Medium

Rooted or Floating:
Rooted though can occasionally float

Site Requirements:
Full sun

Maximum Water Depth:
30 inches

Plant Description:
Pickerelweed is an herbaceous perennial plant that can grow to be 3 1/2 feet tall. Leaves arise from below ground thickened rhizomes. Leaves are green, shiny, and heart or lance shaped with a leathery texture. The leaf blades can be up to 7 inches long and are singly attached to long petioles that originate at the plant base.

Plants produce long terminal flower spikes. The terminus of these spikes (top 3 to 4 inches) is covered with numerous tubular violet flowers that each last for only a single day. Pickerelweed reproduces through two methods – sexually through seed and vegetatively through rhizomes. Flowering occurs from April to October.

Pickerelweed grows along the edges of lakes, ponds, and streams. It can tolerate very deep water for its size. Sometimes, it may even be found floating rather than rooted into the bottom.

Sources:

  • Audlbach-Smith, C.A., deKozlowski, S.J. 1996. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
  • Flora of North America (see link below)

picture of pickerelweedAdditional reading: