Wildflower Wednesday: Pickerelweed

Wildflower Wednesday: Pickerelweed

While kayaking yesterday in Coonamessett Pond in Falmouth, I encountered a number of patches of flowering pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata).  Pickerelweed is a common emergent plant in freshwater marshes, and along the edges of ponds, lakes and streams.  It has 4-10 inch long heart-shaped basal leaves extending above the water’s surface on long stalks, and spikes of small purple flowers. Each individual flower, approximately a 1/2 inch wide when fully open, has a three-lobed upper petal with two yellow spots in the center, and three smaller more separated lower petal lobes. A large spike can produce 100 or more flowers, although they don’t bloom all at the same time. The blooming period for pickerelweed stretches throughout the summer and into early fall and can last for several months within one colony of plants. However, individual flowers last only a day or two. The plant’s common name suggests an association with the fish known as pickerel, likely that both are often found in similar habitat.

Stand of pickerelweed (note the heart-shaped leaves).

Flowering pickerelweed (note that not all the flowers bloom at one time).

A new pickerelweed flower spike, not yet flowering.

Please follow and like us:

4 thoughts on “Wildflower Wednesday: Pickerelweed

  1. Elise,
    As I read your posts, I am more and more convinced that you should someday collate them into a desktop book. In a book, I would enlarge your wonderful pictures put the text into spaces between them. I’d also include short recipes in boxes whenever you speak about an edible plant.

    In any case, you are a great writer, and I enjoy reading your posts.

    1. Well, I will certainly keep that in mind. In the meantime, I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts. Let me know if there’s anything that you’re noticing out and around outside that you’d like to learn more about. NJ is likely a little different, but there’s a lot of overlap, and many of the plants and animals there are also found here.

  2. Elise, we love that you have such great photographs, and so clearly guide our observations. This is a great site, and I agree that you should do something further with it — I vote an app.

    1. Tess, thank you very much for the comment. Glad you’re continuing to enjoy the posts and find them informative. There are definitely a number of avenues I could go with this, but most of them would likely require much more additional material. I’m only 8 months in. 😉 For now, I’m going to keep plugging along. Long term though, some of these ideas may indeed prove useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *