Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Pontederia cordata L.
PONTEDERIACEAE (Water Hyacinth Family)
EtymologyPontederia is named after Guilio Pontedera (1688-1757), a professor of botany from Padua, Italy.
Synonyms (Common Name)Tuckahoe
DescriptionPickerelweed is an emergent, aquatic, perennial herb that grows to 2 1/2' tall. Growing in dense colonies, the plants spread by means of creeping rhizomes. Each plant has a stout stem that bears a single leaf and the inflorescence, and may also have one or more basal leaves. Pickerelweed's flowering spikes provide the major burst of blue color to the water's edge in summer.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Height1-2.5 feet
LeavesDeciduous, simple, entire, 4-8" long; heart-shaped to lanceolate, with heart-shaped or wedge-shaped base, parallel veins.
Flower/InflorescenceBluish-purple, small (1/4-1/2"long), tubular, 2-lipped, each lip is 3-lobed; densely clustered on terminal spike 3-4" long, sheathed at base; flowers bloom from base of spike upward; each flower lasts a day.
Flowering PeriodJune-October
FruitAchene, small, bladder-like, contains one seed.
HabitatMarshes, ponds, lakes, and sluggish streams; shallow water.
RangeNova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett