Pickeral Rush or Pickeralweed, Pontederia cordata is an aquatic or marsh perennial with a cluster of erect arrowhead-shaped leaves arising from a single basal clump. The leaves are 4-8 in across, shiny green and thick-spongy, standing up to 3 ft tall on fleshy petioles (leaf stems). Throughout late spring and summer, pickerelweed produces showy 6-8 in spires of violet-blue flowers standing on stalks 2-3 ft high. The individual flowers are about 1 in (2.5 cm) across and elaborately-beautiful, reminiscent of an orchid. Pickerelweed spreads by creeping rhizomes (underground stems) just beneath the surface. Pickerelweed often forms dense stands that paint a summertime marsh purplish-blue.
Pickerelweed in common in wetlands (the transition zone between aquatic habitats and terrestrial habitats) from Minnesota and Nova Scotia, southward to Texas and Florida, the West Indies and all the way to Argentina.
Pickerelweed is very easy to cultivate and should be a part of any water garden. Young leaves can be eaten as a salad green or potherb, and the nutritious, starchy seeds can be eaten fresh, dried or roasted. In nature, pickerelweed provides important cover for wildlife, and helps wetlands filter polluted water.
Oxbow Eco-Center, Port Saint Lucie , FL Redbubblers of the Treasure Coast Meet & Greet PhotoWalk, August 2009.
70-300mm @ 300mm
8/15/09 – 589/28