Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC (28 June 2012)

Adirondack Wildflowers:
Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

Adirondack Wildflowers:   Pickerelweed on Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC (5 July 2011) Adirondack Wildflowers: Pickerelweed on Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC (5 July 2011)

Pickerelweed is an aquatic plant which flourishes in the shallow borders of ponds and streams in the Adirondack Mountains. The plant produces showy purple-blue flowers in July and August. The flowers are arranged in a spike up to six inches long and bloom in succession from the bottom up. The flowers are pollinated by bees The plant is one to four feet tall, with heart-shaped green leaves.

Pickerelweed is typically found in quiet, shallow water, such as Marshes and the borders of muddy ponds. Pickerelweed grows in eastern north America, Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas.

Pickerelweed reportedly has been used for food. Both the leaves and the seeds are said to be edible. The seeds, which reportedly have a nutty flavor, can be eaten like nuts straight from the plant or dried and added to cereal. The young leaf-stalks have sometimes been eaten raw in salads, cooked like spinach, or added to soups. Some native American tribes have used the plant as a contraceptive.

Adirondack Wildflowers:  Pickerelweed on Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC (5 July 2011) Adirondack Wildflowers: Pickerelweed on Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC (28 June 2012).

Pickerelweed blooms in profusion on Heron Marsh at the Paul Smiths VIC and may be seen from the Heron Marsh Trail, the Boreal Life Trail, and the Silviculture Trail. This plant may also be seen by the Black Pond Trail, near the trail head on Keese Mill Road. Pickerelweed usually begins blooming in June at the VIC.

References

Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.