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Pontederia Cordata- Pickerelweed

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Pontederia Cordata, commonly called Pickerelweed, is a deciduous perennial that grows prolifically and can often cover large areas. Found in USDA Zones 3-10 from Nova Scotia in Canada through the eastern United States to the Caribbean, it commonly gr

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Pontederia Cordata- Pickerelweed

Pontederia Cordata, commonly called Pickerelweed, is a deciduous perennial that grows prolifically and can often cover large areas. Found in USDA Zones 3-10 from Nova Scotia in Canada through the eastern United States to the Caribbean, it commonly grows in marshes, sluggish streams, and ditches in shallow water. It is ideal for bog or water gardens and planting along ponds, although it can also grow in containers or tubs if kept well watered. Pickerelweed typically is two to four feet at maturity and needs full sun for prolific flowering in mid-summer. It prefers dark soils at the edge of ponds or rich organic loans. When in the wild or planted outside of containers, Pickerelweed's roots set out rhizomes that allow it to multiply rapidly. This plant can tolerate low oxygen levels, so it is often found in areas where water levels fluctuate throughout the spring and summer. When weather conditions become unfavorable, it usually survives in the soil as seeds or through its rhizomes. Large spikes, up to six inches long, of blue or white flowers, appear in late summer and have a short lifespan. The tiny flowers are shaped like tubes and are densely packed. The plant features glossy, narrow green leaves shaped like arrowheads that can be up to 10 inches long. The blades can extend well above the surface of the water. Leaves that have just emerged are suitable for use as salad greens. Blooms can appear as late as October. After flowers fall off, starchy seeds look, bearing a distinctive edge. These soon fall off into the water to continue the growth cycle. Pickerelweed attracts dragonflies and damselflies who lay their eggs on its leaves. Portions of the plant that underwater also draws many specifics of fish that hide in clumps. The submerged parts of Pickerelweed also provide habitats for a variety of invertebrates. Ducks are fond of eating the seeds that fall into the water.

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