Pickerel-weed — Pontederia cordata

The pickerel-weed flower, likes shallow, still water with a mud bottom, usually in ponds or the edge of shallow lakes and slow moving streams. All the plants in the pickerel-weed family are mud loving plants. I have photographed this flower twice. Once in Reel-foot Lake and the other at the pond at Levi Jackson Park. This flower is a beautiful bright blue and always attracts butterflies, bees and other insect that feed off the nectar and use the pollen. .

Pickerel-weed leaves are edible, if harvested before they are fully unrolled. They become tough and lose their flavor. When young, they can be used in salads or boiled and eaten with butter. The seeds are very nutritious and can be eaten raw, roasted, or made into flour. This flower is considered a threatened species in Kentucky and shouldn’t be disturbed when found.. This flower has served as a food during the times that we needed eat it and now it serves no purpose, so let us enjoy them.

They are in bloom from June through October and grow from Canada south in most of the eastern parts of America.

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