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Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Pickerel Weed
Pontederia cordata

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive[257].

  • Edible Use

    Seed – raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder[55, 62, 106, 183]. An very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven[183].

    Young leafstalks – raw or cooked[62].

    The whole plant is edible cooked or raw[106]. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots standing in 2cm of water in a cold frame. Cover the seed lightly with silver sand. Submerse in 3cm depth of water after the seedlings emerge[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in water in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division is best in April but it can be done at almost any time of the year[1]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Lateral shoots.
A water or bog garden plant, it requires a rich soil[56] and prefers growing in water 15 – 30 cm deep[1]. Plants are hardy to about -25¡c[187]. A very ornamental plant, it forms spreading patches by means of a thick creeping rhizome[187]. There is a species of bee (Dufourea novae-angliae) which visits this plant for nectar and pollen and does not visit any other species of plant[103].
Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Florida andTexas. A garden escape occ naturalized in Britain[17]

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.