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A Guide to Aquatic Plants – Part 1

Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments (saltwater or freshwater).  Situate your pond where it will get at least 6 hours of sun daily.  Pond plants flower better in full sun.  Choose plants with a variety of textures and forms.

There are 5 basic categories of Pond Plants

 Deep-Water Plants: They are planted directly in the bottom of the pond.

 Submerged Plants: The plants are entirely submerged.

 Floating Plants: They need no soil as their roots obtain nutrients from the water.

 Marginal Plants: Their roots can be in the water but don’t have to be.

 Bog Plants: They thrive in much wetter conditions than do most plants.

Elodea canadensis - Oxygenating

A perennial aquatic plant with clusters of elongated branching stems densely covered in dark, curved leaves & tiny greenish-white flowers.

Lizard’s Tail (Shallow Water) (Saururus cemuus)

Known as a Swamp Lily, it has large, heart-shaped leaves on hairy stems with few branches growing to 4 ft. tall. White aromatic, arching flower spike.

Common/Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

The common bulrush can be found in the pond waters of lakes, ponds & marshes. It has a dense, dark brown cylindrical spike on a stout 3’ to 10’ stem.

Pickerel Rush (Shallow Water) (Pontederia cordata)

Decorative, hardy, useful and easy care plants for around the home water with showy flower spikes atop sturdy stems with spear shaped leaves.

Forget-Me-Not (Shallow Water) (Myosotis scorpiodes)

The flower has five, bright blue petals that surround a yellow centre and is ½” wide growing near the end of the stem on its own short stalk.

Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus)

A deciduous spreading, marginal aquatic perennial that features iris-like, sword-shaped leaf blades (to 3/4” wide) typically growing in basal clumps to about 30” tall.

Horsetail (Shallow Water) (Equistem hyemale)

Common scouring rush is a spreading, reed to 3 ft tall. The stems are evergreen, cylindrical, jointed, hollow, usually unbranched with rough ridges.

Sweet Flag Variegated (Acorus calamus variegatus)

An attractive perennial forming a tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped leaves adorned with creamy-white and green stripes.

Iris - Blue (Shallow Water) (Iris laevigata)

Water Iris is a perennial with striking 3 petalled, rich royal blue flowers 3-4” wide. Blooms late spring to early summer & may repeat. Unique lime green foliage.

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

They have showy lavender flowers and the leaves are rounded and leathery, attached to spongy and sometimes inflated stalks that can vary in size.

Iris - Blue Flag (Shallow Water) (Iris versicolor)

Several violet-blue flowers in shades of purple are attractively veined and yellow-based sepals on a sturdy stalk among tall, graceful sword-like leaves.

Water Lily Attraction Red (Nymphaea x)

very popular hardy water lily with showy pinkish red flowers. Early in the growing season blooms are smaller & can be a light pink turning to red in summer.

Iris - Black Gamecock (Shallow Water) (Iris versicolor)

Blooming reliably each year, huge 4-6” blossoms open flat to display their regal velvety deep purple flowers with the narrowest gold signal.

Water Lily Charles de Meurville (Nymphaea x)

A vigorous, day-bloomer boasting dark green leaves. Each floating blossom features deep rose-red inner petals and pale pink outer petals.

Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula)

A shallow water perennial that produces small solitary yellow flowers on slender, creeping stalks. The tiny flower grows on short upward-facing stalks.

Water Lily Colorado (Nymphaea x)

An evergreen perennial with a low habit of growth, spreading atop the surface of the water. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other plants.

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