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Pontederia cordata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Commelinales
Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Pontederia

See text.

Pontederia is a genus of tristylous aquatic plants, members of which are commonly known as pickerel weeds. Pontederia is endemic to the Americas, distributed from Canada to Argentina, where it is found in shallow water or on mud.[citation needed] The genus was named by Linnaeus in honour of the Italian botanist Giulio Pontedera.[1]

Pontederia plants 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 flowers in the summer. There is a species of bee (Dufourea novaeangliae) that exclusively visits Pontederia cordata;[citation needed] waterfowl also eat the fruit of the plant.[citation needed]

Pontederia cordata and Pontederia crassipes (formerly known as Eichhornia crassipes), have become invasive in many tropical and temperate parts of the globe, but are, on the other hand, efficient biological filters of polluted water in constructed wetlands.[2]


As of January 2024, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[3]


  1. ^ "Definition of PONTEDERIA". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  2. ^ Kadlec, Robert H.; Scott Wallace (2008). Treatment Wetlands (2 ed.). CRC Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-56670-526-4.
  3. ^ "Pontederia L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2024-01-11.

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