Demonstration Wetlands Garden Project

Water Mill Museum, Old Mill Road, Water Mill, New York

Pickerelweed   Pontederia cordata

This semi-submerged plant can form large beds along the banks of shallow streams -- areas favored by pickerel fish, hence its name. Its large spear-shaped leaves rise from one to four feet out of the water. Its four-inch violet-blue flower clusters attract flies, bees and butterflies, which are directed to the flower opening by two small yellow dots. The plant’s thick rootstock is a favorite food of muskrats and carp, so initial plantings should be encased in wire for protection. Its seeds are a source of food for ducks.

image credits: Betty Kistler


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© 2007 Water Mill Museum, 41 Old Mill Road, Water Mill, Long Island, New York 11976
updated July 7, 2007