Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Pickerelweed
Pontederia cordata
F. Pontederiaceae
General Description:

Pickerelweed is a moderately short, robust aquatic herb that measures approximately 30-60 cm. in height. The violet-blue, tubular flowers are small and are arranged in an elongated cluster along the length of pithy stem that emerges from the water. The basal leaves extend from the submerged base above water. They are large, glossy green and heart-shaped.

Pontederia cordata
Flowers:

The radially symmetrical flowers are small and tubular with a funnel-shaped corolla that measures 8 mm. in length. The shallow corolla opens into three portions: an upper, three-lobed lip, a middle lobe bearing two yellow spots, and a lower portion comprising of three separated lobes. The corolla surrounds three long stamens and three short stamens and is supported by two bracts: and upper, sheath-like bract and a lower, short, leaf-like bract.

Fruit:

The fruit is small and seed-like.

Leaves:

The basal leaves are large, measuring 10-25 cm. in length, and have long petioles that extend from the submerged base above the water level. Leaves are glossy green and heart-shaped with and indented base.

Habitat:

Pickerelweed is an aquatic plant and so grows best in marshes and shallow, quiet water.

Fun Facts:

Pickerelweed is an edible plant. The leaves can be eaten as greens and the seeds can be roasted and eaten as nuts.

Pickerelweed is a popular food source for deer.

Pickerelweed receives its name from the pickerel fish, with which this plant is thought to coexist.

Pontederia cordata
Pontederia cordata
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