Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pickerel Weed

Pontederia cordata

A rhizomatous perennial water plant, reaching up to 4 ( usually 2 ) feet in height, that is native to eastern North America ( from eastern Minnesota to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Michigan's upper Peninsula to Stokes Bay, Ontario to Petawawa, Ontario to Huntsville, Ontario to southern Quebec to Nova Scotia; south to central Texas to southern Florida ). It is usually found growing in fresh water along the sides of lakes or rivers. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was noted as being abundant at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands as well as the Ohio shoreline during the 1800s. It was also abundant at Detroit, Michigan during that time.
The heart-shaped leaves, up to 10 x 6 inches, are glossy deep green. The young leafstalks during early summer ( best before leaves unfold ) can be eaten either fresh or boiled for 10 minutes as a pot herb.
The mid-blue ( with yellow eye ) flowers are borne on sturdy, stout spikes, up to 6 inches in length, from early summer through mid autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade in permanent water from 0.5 to 12 inches deep.

* photos taken on Aug 1 2011 in Luzerne Co., PA

* photos taken on May 30 2016 in Annapolis, MD

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

* photo taken by Clarence A. Rechenthin @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora

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