Scientific name:  Pontederia cordata


Physical Characteristics


  • Straight
  • Range from triangular/egg-shaped to triangular/sword-shaped
  • Deeply heart-shaped or cut off
  • Rarely thin at base
  • Up to 0.75 inches long


  • Spike up to 6 inches long
  • Straight spike
  • Short life cycle
  • Petals violet-blue in color
  • Anther elliptical-shaped, blue in color

Outer Part of Flower:

  • Funnel-shaped
  • 2-lipped


  • One seeded
  • Thin
  • Bladder-like


  • Up to 3 feet tall
  • Thick, creeping rhizomes


  • Rooted in mud


Where Does it Grow?

Pickerelweed can be found in marshes, sluggish streams, and ditches in shallow water.


Pros and Cons of Pickerel-weed

Ducks will consume the seeds of pickerelweed; while muskrats and nutria will consume the rhizomes and base. Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.


USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.


Information and photos courtesy of AquaPlant A Diagnostics Tool for Pond Plants and Algae.