Pontederia cordata

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Plant Specifics

Size:to 3-4 ft
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Purple
Phenology:Winter dormant. Blooms spring to fall. Individual plants short-lived but it spreads vegetatively to form long-lived patches.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Wetland gardens and pond edges. Used in wetland restoration.
Propagation:Division of clumps.
Availability:Native nurseries, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Aquatic (always flooded) ----- to ----- Stays Wet)
Moisture Tolerance: Aquatic (always flooded) ----- to ----- Stays Wet
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Pond, lake, or stream bottom, Organic material (muck)
Soil pH:Adaptable



Ducks love the plants and a risk is that they might devour an entire planting.


Attracts butterflies and bees. Documented bee visitors include  Hylaeus schwarzi, Dianthidiuin floridiense, Ceratina dupla floridaiza, Apis inellifera, and Xylocopa inicaizs (Deyrup et al. 2002).

Native Habitats:Marshes, swamps, slow moving streams.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Seeds are edible
General Comments:

The natural range in Florida appears to include the entire mainland and exclude the Florida keys.  Herbarium specimen in the Florida Keys was in a man-made pond leading to the suspicion that the plant was brought in by man and that the keys are not within the natural range of the species. The counties where the plant has not been documented are well within the range of the species and have ample habitats to support this common species (this author has seen it in most of those counties).