Narukila cordata (L.) Nieuwl.
Pontederia angustifolia Pursh
Pontederia lanceolata Nutt.
Pontederia lancifolia Muhl.
Pontederia maculata Donn
Pontederia mucronata Raf. ex Torr.
Pontederia nymphaeifolia Kunth
Pontederia obtusifolia (Raf.) A.DC.
Pontederia ovalis Mart. ex Schult. & Schult.f.
Pontederia rotundifolia nymphaeifolia (Kunth) Solms
Sagittaria cerulea Raf.
Umsema mucronata Raf.
Umsema obtusifolia Raf.
Unisema acutifolia Raf.
Unisema cordata (L.) Farw.
Unisema deltifolia Raf.
Unisema heterophylla Raf.
Unisema lancifolia Raf.
Unisema latifolia Raf.
Unisema media Raf.
Unisema mucronata Raf.
Unisema obliquata Raf.
Unisema obtusifolia (Raf.) Raf.
Unisema peduncularis Raf.
Unisema purshiana Raf.
Unisema rotundifolia Raf.
Common Name: Pickerel Weed
Photograph by: Lady-bug
Photograph by: Lady-bug
It can cover quite large areas of land
Photograph by: PookieFugglestein
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
Photograph by: Mike_tn
Pickerel weed is a perennial plant growing about 75cm tall and forming spreading patches by means of a thick creeping rhizome[
]. The plant often forms large colonies[
The edible seeds and leaves are sometimes harvested from wild plants and consumed locally. A very ornamental plant, it is often grown in ponds and bog gardens.
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Honduras, Belize; Caribbean - Cuba; N. America to E. Can
Marshes and borders of muddy ponds[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Pickerel weed has a very wide natural range from the cold temperate zone to the tropics. It can be grown in the tropics at elevations from sea level to 1,500 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 14 - 24°c, but can tolerate 10 - 30°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -25°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 - 1,200mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,500mm[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. A water or bog garden plant, it requires a rich soil[
] and prefers growing in water 15 - 30 cm deep[
]. Tolerates a wide range of fertile soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5.5 - 8[
There is a species of bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) which visits this plant for nectar and pollen and does not visit any other species of plant[
The reproductive biology of Pontederia cordata has been well studied. It is a tristylous species, and most populations contain all three forms. At least some degree of self-incompatibility exists, being strongest with the short-style forms and weakest with the midstyle forms[
Seed - raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder[
]. A very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven[
Young leafstalks - raw or cooked[
The whole plant is edible cooked or raw[
]. The young leaves can be chopped up and added to salads, soups or stews, or they can be cooked on their own like spinach[
An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots standing in 2cm of water. Cover the seed lightly with silver sand. Submerse in 3cm depth of water after the seedlings emerge[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in water until large enough to plant out.
Division can be done at almost any time of the year[
]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade until they are well established before planting them out.
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