Biological Name:

Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed)

Natural Habitat:

Pickerelweed: This plant is native to North America and can be found in a variety of habitats including wetland areas such as marshes and swamps.


Pickerelweed is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in wetland and aquatic environments. It is a member of the Pontederiaceae family which also includes plants such as water hyacinth and water poppy. Pickerelweed is a perennial plant that produces small blue or purple flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas pickerelweed is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is Pickerelweed invasive?
A: Although they grow rapidly and across a wide range, pickerelweed has not become an invasive or noxious weed.

Q: Can you eat Pickerelweed?
A: Pickerelweed receives its name from the pickerel fish (Northern Pike), with which this plant is thought to coexist. Pickerelweed is an edible plant. The leaves can be eaten as greens and the seeds can be roasted and eaten as nuts.

Q: How do you cook Pickerelweed?
A: The succulent stems and young leaves also make a good potherb when steamed or boiled 10 minutes in salted water, then seasoned with butter, salt and pepper. The seeds of pickerelweed, which ripen in late summer or early fall, are nutritious and tasty, having a nutlike flavor.

Q: Do turtles eat Pickerelweed?
A: Animals which use pickerel weed as a food source include muskrats, ducks, geese, deer, bees, snails, turtles and carp. Animals also use the plant for shelter, and this includes fish, snakes, crawfish, turtles, racoons, muskrats, beaver, snails, frogs and insects.

Q: How do you plant Pickerelweed?
A: Pickerelweed can be propagated by collecting the seeds and planting them in moist soil or transplanting the whole plant with rhizomes into moist soil areas during the early spring.

Q: Is Pickerelweed native to Florida?
A: Pickerelweed is a very common and widely recognized native. It occurs throughout Florida and flowers year-round. It is a prolific grower and can cover large areas.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.