Pickerelweed

Pontederia cordata

Description


Pickerelweed is a perennial plant that can grow up to 3 1/2 feet tall. Leaves are shiny green, heart-to-lance shaped(up to 7 inches long) singly attached to a long petiole which grow in a rosette from the roots. Each stem can produce a terminal flower spike 3 to 4 inches long. The numerous tubular flowers on the spike are violet-blue in color. Each flower lasts only one day. Pickerelweed reproduces from seeds and rhizomes.

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Ducks will consume the seeds of pickerelweed while muskrats and nutria will consume the rhizomes and base.