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pickerel weed seeds

Pickerel weed seeds

Pickerelweed is a long-lived, perennial aquatic wildflower that occurs naturally in open, aquatic habitats such as pond, lake or river edges, marshes and swamps. It typically blooms in spring through summer and is pollinated primarily by bees, but is visited by many butterflies and other insects. Its seeds are eaten by birds. Ducks are known to eat the entire plant.

Pickerelweed seeds, stalks and leaves are edible to humans. Seeds can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. Young leaves and stalks can be eaten raw or boiled.

Pickerelweed’s conspicuous blooms are born in erect, showy spikes. Flowers are tubular with deep purplish-blue petals that often bear yellow and white markings that may serve as nectar guides for bees. Flower spikes extend above all but one leaf. Leaves are sagittate with a long, tapering blade and a cordate base (hence the species name cordata). They are dark green and alternately arranged. The fruit is an achene that bears a single inconspicuous seed.

Pictured above: Leafcutter bee (Megachile sp.) on Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). Photo by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) by Eleanor Dietrich

Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. In it’s dormant season, it will be shipped as a dormant rhizomes with trimmed leaves. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped.

Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata, is an emergent perennial with broad, sword shaped leaves and charming, tubular, blue and purple flowers on tall spikes. The flowers attract many insects, that become prey to carnivorous plants. The leaves are large, waxy, and quite succulent. It is winter hardy, and prefers growing along the water’s edge. It is a prolific grower, tolerating a wide range of wet growing conditions. The rhizomes can grow rapidly, forming a nice colony of plants in a season. It is an excellent companion for bladderworts and Aldrovanda, providing dappled light, and organic matter to the water, essential for the development of micro organisms that become the prey for aquatic carnivorous plants. It is propagated from seeds and cuttings. Seeds are edible and leaves can be cooked like spinach.

Ease to Grow: Easy.
Dormancy: Yes.
Native Range: Wetlands of Eastern North and South America.
Zones: 3-9 (2-10).

For Pickerelweed, each portion is a rooted, growing plant and size refers to age: small (1 year), medium (2 years), large (3+ years old).

Height: 8″ – 16+”.
Plant Type: Perennial, cold temperate.
Soil: General Bog Mix.
Soil pH: 5.5-7.
Light: Full to Partial Sun.
Use: Tall, stately blue flowers.