Herb: Pickerel Weed

Latin name: Pontederia cordata

Family: Pontederiaceae

Medicinal use of Pickerel Weed:

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

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Marshes and borders of muddy ponds.

Edible parts of Pickerel Weed:

Seed - raw, cooked like rice or dried and ground into a powder. An very acceptable nutty flavour and texture when raw, they are said to be excellent if the seed is lightly roasted in an oven. Young leafstalks - raw or cooked. The whole plant is edible cooked or raw. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups.

Propagation of the herb:

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. 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. 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.

Cultivation of Pickerel Weed:

Marshes and borders of muddy ponds.

Known hazards of Pontederia cordata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.