Gerald L. Klingaman
Water lettuce is an evergreen, floating, aquatic plant. Its gray-green rosettes resemble loose head lettuce floating on the surface of the water and its flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. At the base they have feathery, trailing roots that are white when they first emerge then change to purple, and finally black. These colorful roots make a wonderful refuge for small fish.
Water lettuce thrives in full sun, but needs some midday shade; its waxy leaves are very ornamental floating in ponds, water...
(Blue Pickerelweed, Pickerelweed)
The pretty and prolific pickerelweed is a very common aquatic perennial that withstands fresh or brackish water. It is an emergent, or marginal, aquatic plant and prefers to be immersed in water a foot deep or less and naturally grows in wetlands and lake shallows in eastern North America from Canada to Florida.
Its large leaves are oval, linear or triangular. They are fully deciduous in northern areas and evergreen down south. The flowers are small and borne on upright spikes held above the...
(Lesser Spearwort, Spearwort)
Beautiful in summer with its upright leaves and buttercup blooms, spearwort is perfect for lining stream, pond, and bog edges. A hardy aquatic perennial, it is native from the British Isles eastward to Siberia, the Caucasus, and Turkey.
The botanical name lingua refers to the long, tongue-like, grayish green leaves that ascend from hollow, red-tinted, waist-high flowering stems. Plants also produce large, long-stalked, heart-shaped basal leaves in fall, which disappear by flowering...
Lizard's tail is an aquatic perennial native to the wetlands of eastern North America. It is hardy, herbaceous and spreads fairly aggressively via underground runners.
In summer, arching, fragrant white flower spikes appear above heart-shaped leaves. These have a sinuous appearance that suggests a reptilian tail.
This interesting perennial grows best in full sun to partial shade and moist organic-rich soil. It is ideal for naturalistic water gardens, though if left unchecked will spread to...
James H. Schutte
(Nail Rod, Narrowleaf Cattail)
Whipping in the breezes, the twisting and slender leaf blades and slender brown sausage-like flower clusters and seedheads of the narrowleaf cattail bring wildlife shelter and wispy texture to lake shorelines. A clumping, fast-growing and aggressive aquatic perennial, it is native to central eastern North America and the Central Valley of California, naturalized elsewhere on the continent. This species tolerates saltier and deeper waters than the broadleaf cattail, Typha latifolia.
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Broadleaf Cattail, Common Cattail)
Whipping in the breezes, the tall leaf blades and brown sausage-like flower clusters and seedheads of the common cattail bring wildlife shelter and wispy texture to lake shorelines. A clumping, fast-growing and usually invasive perennial that can be evergreen in tropical regions, it is native worldwide in the Northern Hemisphere, including Asia, northern Africa, Europe and North America. Often the foliage browns in winter and will rejuvenate once shoreline waters and soils warm in spring. It forms...
James H. Schutte
Dwarf cattail is a hardy, clumping, aquatic perennial native to Eurasia. The smallest of cattails, it is more in scale with gardens and garden ponds than its giant relative, common cattail. It is valued for its upright narrow leaves, slender profile and flower spikes. The tiny flowers cluster densely in a narrow cylindrical spike atop a stem that appears in mid- and late summer. The male flowers, which are yellow hued, occupy the top of the spike and soon fall away leaving a naked portion of stem....
Comprising more than 200 aquatic, terrestrial, or epiphytic annuals and perennials from all parts of the world, the bladderworts are named for the curious, inflated, insect-trapping structures that dot their stems and leaves. Floating bladderworts such as Utricularia vulgaris and U. gibba are popular aquarium and water garden plants.
Bladderworts bear rounded or feathery leaves on stem-like stolons that creep along or below the surface of the water or soil. The stolons...
Named for the curious, inflated, insect-trapping structures that dot its thread-like leaves, greater bladderwort makes an intriguing subject for aquariums and water features. This hardy aquatic perennial is native to stagnant waters over much of Europe and temperate Asia.
This free-floating plant bears feathery, finely divided leaves on stem-like stolons that creep below the water surface. New plants form at the stolon tips, eventually forming a mat-like network. The leaves are lined with small...
Mark A. Miller
(Giant Waterlily, Longwood Hybrid Giant Waterlily)
Magnificent in foliage and flower, the Longwood Hybrid giant waterlily is coveted by all lovers of water gardens. This hybrid was first created in 1960 by Patrick Nutt of Longwood Gardens, with Victoria cruziana as the seed parent and V. amazonica as the pollen parent. It produces larger leaves, tolerates lower water temperatures, and blooms earlier and more prolifically than either of its parents.
The dull green, platter-shaped, floating leaves of this tender perennial...