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Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)
Image courtesy of ©2019 Kind Earth Growers
Species Distribution Map
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Pontederia cordata


The large pickerelweed plant produces 1 spike of small flowers. The plant is often 3 feet tall, with long, heart-shaped leaves. The flower stem rises above the leaves except 1 leaf that grows behind the flowers. The deep blue flowers are on a spike about 6 inches long and bloom in succession from the bottom up, prolonging the flowering period for several days. Pickerelweed freely blooms from May to October. - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Long-blooming emergent native aquatic
Spreads rapidly by rhizome into colonies
Wetland Indicator Status: OBL

Pickerelweed grows 2-4' tall and can be found growing in the unconsolidated sediments of marshes, streams, shallow lakes, and ponds. Growing in colonies, this emergent aquatic native plant prefers quiet water and is an excellent addition to water gardens, bog gardens, or in a container. 

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2-4 Feet


2-3 Feet

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-10

pickerelweed Interesting Notes

Pickerelweed has often been used for food. Each fruit contains a nutritious, starchy seed that can be eaten straight from the plant or dried and added to granola and other cereals. The dried seeds can also be boiled, roasted to improve flavour or ground into flour. The young leaves have sometimes been eaten raw in salads or boiled and served with butter. - Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center

The seed of pickerelweed is eaten by waterfowl. Geese and muskrats will consume the vegetation, while only fish, and to a lesser extent birds and small mammals, utilize flooded foliage for cover. The flowers provide nectar to bees and butterflies while the foliage provides cover for damselfly and dragonfly larvae. - USDA

Pontederia cordata Growing and Maintenance Tips

A very easy to grow plant as long as it doesn't dry out. Perfect for a wetland garden, habitat, water garden, bog or pond area, or to be planted in large tubs or containers. Grows happily in mud, up to one foot under water. 

Divide every other year to keep size manageable.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated