|Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata|
Widespread—Southern Canada to Argentina—pickerelweed is an aquatic oddity. It's tristylous, meaning individual plants occur in three different morphs or variations and most populations contain all three. The leaf shape also varies widely, but fortunately, the lovely lavender flowers are fairly consistent.
Its Latin name honors Italian plantsman Giulio Pontedera (1688-1757).
To a botanist, pickerelweed is a curiosity. To a non-botanist, it's simply a eye-catching flowering plant found in local ponds.
Look for it in the Plaza Pond in front of the Visitor Center at Ijams.
- Story and photo by Stephen Lyn Bales. For more information call 865-577-4717, ext. 119.