Pickerel weed seeds

Pickerelweed

Pictured above: Leafcutter bee (Megachile sp.) on Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). Photo by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.

Pickerelweed is a long-lived, perennial aquatic wildflower that occurs naturally in open, aquatic habitats such as pond, lake or river edges, marshes and swamps. It typically blooms in spring through summer and is pollinated primarily by bees, but is visited by many butterflies and other insects. Its seeds are eaten by birds. Ducks are known to eat the entire plant.

Pickerelweed’s conspicuous blooms are born in erect, showy spikes. Flowers are tubular with deep purplish-blue petals that often bear yellow and white markings that may serve as nectar guides for bees. Flower spikes extend above all but one leaf. Leaves are sagittate with a long, tapering blade and a cordate base (hence the species name cordata). They are dark green and alternately arranged. The fruit is an achene that bears a single inconspicuous seed.

Pickerelweed seeds, stalks and leaves are edible to humans. Seeds can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. Young leaves and stalks can be eaten raw or boiled.

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) by Eleanor Dietrich

Family: Pontederiaceae
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
To see where natural populations of pickerelweed have been vouchered, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness: 8A–10B
Soil: Inundated to saturated soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 2–4’
Propagation: Seeds, division
Garden tips: Pickerelweed is great for water gardens as well as pond edges and drainage swales, where it can also help with soil stabilization. It flowers best if grown in full sun. It is fast-growing and spreads easily on its own by underground rhizomes, forming large colonies if not maintained.

Pickerelweed plants are often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.

Pickerel Weed Seeds

Sowing: Before planting in the spring, mix the seeds with very wet sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. Press into the surface of completely saturated soil such as mud; do not bury the seed. If starting the seed indoors, submerge the growing containers in water up to an inch below the surface of the soil. Germination can be slow and irregular.

Growing: Seedlings develop slowly, and may not bloom until their second or third year. These plants need constant moisture, whether planted in rich exposed soil or shallow water. They grow best in water under 12 inches, though they tolerate occasional flooding up to 24 inches. This plant makes an excellent addition to naturally wet areas like marshes, stream beds, and shallow ponds. Since it tends to spread vigorously by rhizomes once established, grow in a container submerged in water if spreading is not wanted. Mature plants can be divided in the spring. This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and dragonflies; water birds and small animals also like to eat the foliage and seeds.

Harvesting: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.

Seed Saving: As the flowers stalks mature and develop seed, they will become immersed in the water and release their seeds. Gather the seeds as soon as they easily come loose from the stem, but before they drop and float away. The seeds are dormant at this point and will not germinate immediately, though they should be planted as soon as possible for the best germination rates.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Lance-Leaf Pickerel Weed

Latin Name: Pontederia cordata

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: Mountain, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 340

Stratification: No Stratification (Seed from us has been Pre-Stratified)

Germination Ease: No Stratification

Sunlight: Full Sun

Height: 24 Inches

Color: Purple

Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer

Unsuccessful getting the seeds to germinate

They simply do not care to sprout? Initially attempted to germinate in an AeroGarden enviornment, then tried in local to the pond water behind our home. nothing? The other seeds, Common Rush and even the Poppy seeds purchased are all doing well.

Great Source for REAL Native Seed

Love the packaging and turn time. Still wish you’d fix your Ebay store so I can be enabled to impulse shop without the chaos of expensive shipping when using my smartphone.

DESCRIPTION

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These showy spikes are formed of many small blue flowers. This native aquatic plant flourishes in shallow quiet waters, and can often be seen in the wild growing along marshes, streams, and ponds.

This aquatic plant flourishes in shallow, quiet waters; its hollow stems allow the leaves to float and accomplish photosynthesis. Pickerel fish, as well as other types of fish, tend to take cover in the foliage of this plant, while the seeds attract small animals and water birds. The genus name “Pontederia” honors Italian professor Giulio Pontedera, a botanist for the Botanical Gardens of Padua for many years. The species name “cordata” means “heart,” referring to the shape of the leaves. Because of its excellence for ornamental gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society gave this aquatic plant the Award of Garden Merit.

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Before planting in the spring, mix the seeds with very wet sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. Press into the surface of completely saturated soil such as mud; do not bury the seed. If starting the seed indoors, submerge the growing containers in water up to an inch below the surface of the soil. Germination can be slow and irregular.

Growing: Seedlings develop slowly, and may not bloom until their second or third year. These plants need constant moisture, whether planted in rich exposed soil or shallow water. They grow best in water under 12 inches, though they tolerate occasional flooding up to 24 inches. This plant makes an excellent addition to naturally wet areas like marshes, stream beds, and shallow ponds. Since it tends to spread vigorously by rhizomes once established, grow in a container submerged in water if spreading is not wanted. Mature plants can be divided in the spring. This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and dragonflies; water birds and small animals also like to eat the foliage and seeds.

Harvesting: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.

Seed Saving: As the flowers stalks mature and develop seed, they will become immersed in the water and release their seeds. Gather the seeds as soon as they easily come loose from the stem, but before they drop and float away. The seeds are dormant at this point and will not germinate immediately, though they should be planted as soon as possible for the best germination rates.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Lance-Leaf Pickerel Weed

Latin Name: Pontederia cordata

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: Mountain, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 340

Stratification: No Stratification (Seed from us has been Pre-Stratified)