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Water willow, an evergreen perennial of the genus Justicia, is native to warm temperate and tropical areas of the New World. There are at least 76 species, of which the American (Justicia Americana) is the hardiest, able to grow as far north as southern Alaska. It grows partially submerged from creeping rhizomes (thick plants that grow underground, from which shoots and roots grow.
Justicia Americana is a small plant, reaching heights of no more than 3'4". Its violet and white flowers come out early in the summer and bloom until autumn is well underway. It prefers to grow in shallow water or on the banks of lakes and ponds where the soil is either rocky or sandy, forming colonies in those areas.
This plant requires soil that is high in moisture and full exposure to the sun. The rhizomes can be transplanted into water that is less than a foot deep. Because these plants propagate from both seeds and roots, they are rather difficult to control, although a number of compounds, particularly Weedar 64 and the fluoridone compounds Avast, Sonar, and Whitecap, have proven to be effective at keeping their numbers down.
The American plant, scientifically known as Justicia Americana, is an aquatic, herbaceous flowering plant belonging to the Acanthaceae family. There are around 2,500 species in this family, ranging from small trees to herbs and shrubs. These are native to North America and occur mainly in Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Michigan. You can also find this plant in Quebec and Ontario.
Flowering occurs in June and might last until September, dependent on the location. Typically, just a few flowers bloom at a time. Following that, seed capsules replace the flowers. Each capsule holds two cells, with each cell holding two seeds. The seeds are warty and roughly 1/8 inches long. The root system is rhizomatous, generating plant colonies.
Water Willow Physical Appearance
This perennial herbaceous wildflower is normally an emergent aquatic plant with a moderate density that grows between one to three feet above the water's surface. However, it can also be a terrestrial plant of comparable height. Typically, the stems are unbranched and can grow to anything between one and a half and three feet high.
The leaves are deciduous, thin at the base, and sword-shaped. These can grow up to an inch in width and six inches in length. Their edges are typically smooth, while the outer edges may be somewhat undulate. The leaves' top and lower surfaces are both glabrous and medium green. The seeds have a bright polish with a width of 0.07 inches and are 0.11 inches long.
The flowers are either white or violet, with an average length of 0.4 inches. The lobes are primarily white, except for the deep purple-hued mottling at the lower lobe's base. Otherwise, the flowers are gently speckled with small purple dots or stained pale purple. They grow in tiny bunches on stalks from the leaf axils.
The sepals are about 0.27 inches in length, whereas the spikes grow up to 1.18 inches in length. The fruit is dry and extends beyond the flower, growing to a height of about 0.47 inches.
They grow in shallow, stagnant water of up to three feet deep, where there's partial or full sun or damp weather, with soil that's gravelly, sandy, or mucky. Throughout the summer, shallow riffles in rivers and major streams are typical habitats. Other suitable habitats include wet portions of swamps, river sandbars, muddy river or pond banks, rocky highland streams, and sandy marshes
This plant has advantageous to the ecosystem as it provides food for several creatures. As an aquatic plant, fungi and bacteria decompose it once it dies, providing food for several marine invertebrates. It is a host plant for Darapsa Versicolor caterpillars, which feed on the leaves.
Additionally, numerous macro and micro invertebrates live in the submerged parts of all aquatic plant species. Fish and other creatures such as ducks, reptiles, and amphibians consume these invertebrates. Other wildlife species that eat the water willow rhizomes are the nutria, white beaver, and muskrat. Deer also graze on the water willow's leaves.
Posted by Ann Robins on Jan 11, 2022
Definitely a must plant for every garden lover. This perennial is simply beautiful.
We dig fresh our plants and ship immediately. We ship US Mail, Priority shipping. You will receive a tracking number once your plants ship. All plants will be fine in their packages for up to 3 days after receiving.
We sell only bare root plants. We dip the roots in tera-sorb silicone gel to retain ample moisture for transit and surround with plastic. This is superior protection for plants in transit for up to 12 days.
Open your plants and inspect the same day received. We offer 3 days to report any problems with your order. Bare root plants need to be planted within 2-3 days of receiving unless weather-related problems prohibit planting. Store in a cool place and keep roots moist and covered with plastic until they can be planted. Water for the first week daily after planting.