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Pontederia cordata - L.

Common Name Pickerel Weed
Family Pontederiaceae
USDA hardiness 3-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Marshes and borders of muddy ponds[55].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Florida andTexas. A garden escape occ naturalized in Britain[17]
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Pontederia cordata Pickerel Weed


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Pontederia cordata Pickerel Weed
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Summary

Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pontederia cordata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed - raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder[55, 62, 106, 183]. A very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven[183]. Young leafstalks - raw or cooked[62]. The whole plant is edible cooked or raw[106]. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups[183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Contraceptive.

An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive[257].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Specimen. A water or bog garden plant, it requires a rich soil[56] and prefers growing in water 15 - 30 cm deep[1]. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187]. A very ornamental plant, it forms spreading patches by means of a thick creeping rhizome[187]. There is a species of bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) which visits this plant for nectar and pollen and does not visit any other species of plant[103]. The reproductive biology of Pontederia cordata has been well studied. It is a tristylous species, and most populations contain all three forms. At least some degree of self-incompatibility exists, being strongest with the short-style forms and weakest with the midstyle forms[270]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Grows submerged, Invasive, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots standing in 2cm of water in a cold frame. Cover the seed lightly with silver sand. Submerse in 3cm depth of water after the seedlings emerge[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in water in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division is best in April but it can be done at almost any time of the year[1]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Lateral shoots.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Eichhornia crassipesWater Hyacinth, Common water hyacinth20

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200235270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Lars Andersen   Sat Dec 16 2006

In some cases, raw seeds of pickerel weed cause swelling, blistering and numbness in the mouth - extremely uncomfortable lasting for about a day. I know this from first-hand experience.

Adventure Outpost history and lore of over 40 Florida rivers, including plant and animal lore.

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Subject : Pontederia cordata  
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