Pontederia cordata L.
Pontederia cordata L. var. angustifolia (Pursh) Torr. & Elliot
Pontederia cordata L. var. lanceolata (Nutt.) Griseb.
Pontederia cordata L. var. lancifolia (Muhl. ex Elliot) Torr.
Pontederia lanceolata Nutt.
Pickerelweed is a North American native plant that grows in shallow, quiet water. Pickerel (the fishes) are often found in the same habitat as this plant, presumably the reason for the plant’s name.
Identification: Plants reach 3' (91 cm) in height, some of this height submerged. It produces a spike of blue flowers about 6" (15 cm) long, the spike accompanied by a single leaf. Individual flowers are about ¼" (8.5 mm) long, blue-violet with two yellow spots. Leaves are up to 10" (25 cm) × 5" (12 cm), shaped like arrowheads.
Edibility: Young, partially unfurled leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked as greens. Seeds can be eaten like nuts, or dried and added to granola.
Pontederia cordata at Illinois Wildflowers
Pontederia cordata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Pontederia cordata on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
Pontederia cordata at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Pontederia cordata on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Pontederia cordata on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Pontederia cordata at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Pontederia cordata at the Island Creek Elementary School's Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
Pontederia cordata on FLORIDATA
Pontederia cordata on CalPhotos
Pontederia cordata on eFloras
Pontederia cordata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.
Range: Zones 4-11: