Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pickerel Weed Pickerel Rush
Pontederia cordata

Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Pontederia (pon-te-DARE-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cordata (kor-DAY-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Ponds and Aquatics

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Floridian
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By trois
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By RosinaBloom
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There are a total of 44 photos.
Click here to view them all!


9 positives
4 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Mar 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is arguably my favorite water plant. It blooms for a long time in summer, putting out new flower spikes successively when grown in full sun. The foliage is glossy and beautiful.

It can spread aggressively. If that's not wanted, confine its roots. Native range is the eastern half of North America.

This plant has no spines or sharp edges.

Positive joraines On Mar 3, 2013, joraines from Inman, SC wrote:

I was given about three or four rooted shoots of this by my Dad's neighbor who has a small pond. I stuck it in the muddy soil at the edge of our very large pond in areas receiving full sun and partial shade last year. I was amazed at how fast it spread, how glossy green the leaves were the it flowered for a long time. I love it. it's a wonderful pond edge plant and seems to do well in both boggy soil and in the pond. Can't wait for it to return this year and I welcome its spread.

Positive Gyst On Sep 10, 2011, Gyst from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I got this plant years ago from a ditch in Morgan City LA where it grows wild and flowers beautifully. It grows well for me in low area in my yard in Baton Rouge, LA which is quite dry 75% of the time. It flowers well, dies back in winter and returns each spring.

Neutral grrrlgeek On Jan 12, 2010, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Seeds are listed on Plants for a Future site as not only edible, but having an "acceptable nutty flavor", and the entire plant is edible by humans. The plant is also a source of food for wildlife, particularly water fowl.

Positive Poetinwood On Oct 21, 2009, Poetinwood from Council Hill, OK wrote:

Several sites including the respected Kemper Center for For Home Gardening list all parts of the plant as edible.

Positive rws441 On Oct 15, 2009, rws441 from Columbus, OH wrote:

I have had Pickerell Weed for three yrs and I love it. It is in a container about 6 in deep and about 24 in diameter and it blooms wonderfully. I put fertilizer tabs in the soil once in the spring, and that is all the care I give it other than making sure that the container is filled with water every 3-4 days

Neutral Lily_love On May 21, 2009, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I enjoy these plants. But do respect its reputation of invasiveness, thus they're in a confined tub. The blue inflorescents, flowers are attractive.

Negative MRSDOOLITTLE On Sep 29, 2008, MRSDOOLITTLE from Crown Point, IN wrote:

Hello, I'm new, found Dave's site, thank god, as I was looking up the name of the plant our Lake Maintenance Mgr. gave me - pickle-weed. Of course, it was the wrong name. Our private development has been planting this plant at the shoreline of public areas on our 2-300 acre lakes, after he sprays to get rid of the plants growing in the lake that bother the boaters. The deepest part of the man-made lakes is only 20 ft. This plant has been growing like crazy! I would take some pictures but the mosquitoes are terrible since the flooding. As soon as I can, I am pulling these plants out. These plants are not to be around people, especially those with breathing problems or allergies. Even family pets, wildlife or fowl. I never saw this plant until it was bought & planted up here. And I'm 52 yrs old and have been here for 24 yrs. He planted them in July about 12 plants along our shoreline of 55 ft. At first they weren't doing so well, I thought it was the muck they were planted in. But once the rains started they went crazy! We now have a dense 55 ft x 3 ft & still growing. It seems they like, muck LOTS OF WATER and lime. They are pretty but I feel too dangerous especially during pollen season, I'm sick, have pets, like the ducks, geese, swans & raccoons. The flower is poisonous to all in my yard.

Positive TexasPuddyPrint On Jun 14, 2008, TexasPuddyPrint from Edinburg, TX wrote:

Saw these plants growing in ditches and waterways during my visit to Brunswick, Georgia. Lots of lovely purple blooms that attracted Black Swallowtail butterflies and various skippers. ~ Cat

Neutral Tetrazygia On May 24, 2008, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Found in zones 10 as well.

Negative Malus2006 On Apr 8, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have never seen this species in the wild in Minnesota - overwintering it had failed as the plants tend to die and it rarely blooms. I use pots only because the ponds that I have is premolded so there is no way I can create its natural habitation.

Positive 1cros3nails4gvn On Sep 1, 2007, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

grows among canna flaccida, also a SC native, in any water that is not too deep or fast moving. seen in ditches, lagoons, drainage ponds, swamps...any wet freshwater location

Neutral lmelling On Dec 22, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I had this planted in a pot at the edge of our pond with about 6" of water covering the pot. along with some other marginal plants. The pickeral weed thrived through several mild winters and bloomed fairly well each summer. Unfortunately it didn't make it over the harsh winter of 2003-2004 (-25 to -15 for several weeks in our area) and did not reappear last summer.

Pickerel rush/weed takes little care when potted, simply fertilize with a waterlily type fertilizer pill each spring or, if you fertilize more than a couple plants in a small pond, you may not need to fertilze this plant at all as the fertilizer will leach out into the pond anyway.

Positive TREEHUGR On Dec 21, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I rescued some of this from a nearby lot just as the bulldozers showed up. Stuck it quickly in a moist corner of my yard and didn't touch it. It was pretty dry at that time and it wasn't looking so healthy. Then came the rain and hurricanes and as of about a month ago, it had thrived and spread out a couple of feet. Originally it was just a shovel full. I found out tonight what's it's called thanks to another dave's garden member, NativePlantFan9 but unfortunately I had thought due to it's vigorous growth that it was invasive and I lawn mowered it . It's a FL native found in just about every county.

Negative Kelli On Oct 6, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Ours doesn't bloom worth a darn.

Positive salvia_lover On Aug 30, 2004, salvia_lover from Modi'in
Israel wrote:

Very pretty aquatic plant. Grows well here in Israel in garden fish ponds. My neighbor got one this summer and his is doing wonderfully. It hasn't been through a winter yet though, so I can't say how hardy it is in our climate.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Goodyear, Arizona
Huntington, Arkansas
Prescott, Arkansas
Van Buren, Arkansas
Vacaville, California
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Chiefland, Florida
Clermont, Florida
Ellenton, Florida
Glen Saint Mary, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lutz, Florida
Miami, Florida (2 reports)
Niceville, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Palmetto, Florida
Pomona Park, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Crown Point, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Violet, Louisiana
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Waltham, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Lake George, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Byhalia, Mississippi
Piedmont, Missouri
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
New Hyde Park, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Bluffton, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Inman, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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