AY Honors/Edible Wild Plants/Pickerelweed

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Pontederia cordata.JPG


Description: Pickerelweed is a genus of aquatic plants. They have large waxy leaves, succulent stems and a thick pad of fibrous roots. The roots give rise to rhizomes that allow rapid colonization by vegetative reproduction. Species are perennial, and produce a large spike of purple flowers in the summer.

Where found: Pickerelweed is endemic to the Americas, distributed from Canada to Argentina, where it is found in partially submerged in shallow water or on mud.

Availability: Early Summer (leaves), Late Summer to Early Fall (fruit)

Use: The young leaves, if picked before they unfurl can be eaten raw in salads or boiled for ten minutes and served with butter as greens. The nut-like fruit can be gathered in late summer to early fall and roasted or eaten out of the hand like granola.