Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed)
|Also known as:|
|Family:||Pontederiaceae (Water Hyacinth)|
|Habitat:||sun; marshes, sheltered shores, quiet shallow water|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||12 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single dense floral spike 2 to 6 inches long of hairy ½-inch blue-violet flowers, on a stout, sheathed stalk. Individual flowers are tubular with 3 shallow lobes on the upper lip and 3 deeper lobes on the lower lip. The upper lip has 2 yellow eyespots in the middle. 3 long stamens extend beyond tube with 3 more retained deeper in the tube with the style deeper yet and hidden from view.
Leaves and stem:
Firm arrowhead shaped leaves, 2 to 10 inches long and 1 to 6 inches wide, often narrowing somewhat towards rounded basal lobes and tapering to a rounded tip. Long leaf stalks are attached to the rootstock submerged in the muddy soil. Leaf margins and surface are smooth and waxy in appearance, the surface covered in many fine parallel veins.
Notes:While not as widely encountered as many of Minnesota's pond plants, Pickerelweed stands out when caught in full bloom. This species is often offered by aquatic garden suppliers—a non-invasive one for a change.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken in Savanna Portage SP in Aitkin county.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?