Pickerelweed

Emergent Plants

Pontederia cordata:

Pickerelweed

Pontederia cordata L.: Pickerelweed. Pontederiaceae (pickerelweed family). 

Native perennial. This plant produces stout upright emergent stems and leaves from a thick rhizome or root base, growing to 3 ft (90 cm) in water or along water margins in very wet soil. Large, dense stands are common where it is established. The leaf blades are up to 12 in (30 cm) long and 6 in (15 cm) wide; they vary from broad to narrow. They are usually heart-shaped and indented at the base, with rounded basal lobes; however, they can be lance-shaped and tapering, with no basal lobes. Leaf blades are thick, smooth and leathery, evenly covered with numerous parallel veins. The leaf stalks are usually shorter than the blade; they form a tube-like sheath that almost completely encloses the stem. The showy flower spike is held above the leaves at the top of a stout stem; flowers are numerous, small, purple to blue (sometimes white), each with a yellow spot in the middle of the upper petals. This plant can create dense stands; it is valuable for wildlife but occasionally reaches nuisance proportions.