Pickerel-weed is a native herb found in shallow water (up to 1 m) and marshy borders of lakes, ponds and slow rivers, often in large colonies. Emergent parts are up to 1 m tall.
Origin of the Name: Pontederia, for Guillo Pontedera, former Professor of Botany at Padua 1688-1757; cordata: L. cordis, heart, refers to the heart-shaped leaves
Range: a New World plant, N.S. to Ont and MN, s. to S. Amer.
WI Range: Statewide, less common northward
Common associates: Yellow and white water lilies, bulrushes
Wetland Indicator Status: OBL
Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 10 (S&W), C = 8 (MI)
It requires clear water.
Prior to emergence a rosette of leaves grows on the bottom and dies if the water is very murky.
Leaves have a long petiole, and usually a firm broadly heart-shaped blade to 18 cm.
A narrow leaved form is rare. Most leaves arise from the base of the plant.
Inflorescence is a crowded spike, to 10 cm long,
on a long stalk arising from the rhizome. Flowers are violet to white, 2-lipped, with each of the lips 3-lobed. Blooms from late June to September.
(The dragonfly is the male Pied or Widow Skimmer, Libellula