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Pontederia cordata L.

Family Name: Pontederiaceae
Common Name: Pickerel Weed
Full Sun Lots of Water Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Aquatic


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Aquatic & Hydrophyte (Emergent, Waterside / Marginal)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Eastern Canada, USA, Belize, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Clump-forming herbaceous perennial up to 0.9 m tall.
Roots Thick fibrous roots are produced from an extensive rhizome.
Foliage Shiny green, fleshy leaves are arrow-shaped with entire leaf margin (10-20 cm long leaf blade). Long petioles are round and thick, emerging from the ground.
Flowers Spike inflorescence is composed of 20-30 blue to purple, star-shaped flowers. The inflorescence stalk is 0.6-0.9m long, while the spike alone is 15-20 cm long. Individual flowers (2.5 cm wide) last only 1 day, but the inflorescence lasts several days, as new flowers take the place of old ones.
Fruits Each fruit produces 1 large seed.
Cultivation This species is suitable for landscaping water features. The plants can be grown in soil or submerged in water.
Etymology The genus Pontederia is named after Italian botanist Guilio Pontedera.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: It is used in constructed wetlands to cleanse polluted water.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
Landscape Uses Riverine, Aquarium / Aquascape, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden, Naturalistic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Division


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Blue, Purple
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic


References Yong J, Tan PY, Nor Hafiz Hassan, Tan SN. 2010. A Selection of Plants for Greening of Waterways and Waterbodies in the Tropics. Singapore: Chung Printing . 480 pp.

Image Repository



Master ID 29153
Species ID 3462
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 31 December 2022.