Purple Loosestrife | Lyhtrum salicaria
Purple Loosestrife is an invasive plant that is mistakenly utilized because of its brilliant magenta flowers. This emergent has four-sided stems that grow up to 5 feet tall with many branches. Leaves grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem or as equally spaced triplets. The flowers are purple to magenta and grow on spikes that are 4 to 15 inches long. These invasive plants should be pulled from the ground, including roots, and put into a bag. Let the plants die in the bag then burn them completely.
Common Reed | Phragmites australis
Commonly called Phragmites [frag-mite-eez], this invasive emergent plant can form large colonies that dominate the ecosystem. The stems are round and can grow over 15 feet tall. The leaves are flat, one to two inches wide, and grow in an alternating pattern up the stem. The head of these plants resembles a feathery plume with many tiny seeds.
Cattails | Typhaceae spp
Cattails are large, reedlike emergent plants that can grow more than 6 feet tall. They have overlapping, unbranched blades that are all the same height and originate from a single base. Cattails are easily recognized by the fuzzy brown spike atop the plant. The native Common Cattail has blades close to one inch wide. The invasive Narrow Leaved Cattail has blades less than one-half inch wide.
Bulrush | Scirpus spp.
Bulrush is a family of emergent plants that can grow up to 4 feet tall. They have long, singular stems that have round or triangular cross-sections. There are no leaves or blades branching from the stems. Bulrush plants have tiny flowers that usually look like bristles at the tip of the plant. These plants provide excellent cover for small fish.
Arrow Arum | Peltandra virginica
Arrow Arum is an emergent plant grows up to 2 feet tall. It has oblong to triangular leaves that measure 4 to 12 inches long and 3 to 6 inches wide at flowering. Later in the summer, the leaves can grow to 30 inches long. The tiny flowers range from white to orange and grow on a fleshy spike protected by a leave-like structure. These plants are great attractors of pollinators and provide nutrient uptake, shoreline stabilization, and erosion control.
Pickerelweed | Pontederia cordata
Pickerelweed is an emergent plant grows up to 2 feet tall. It has lance-shaped or oval leaves that are 2 to 8 inches long. The flowers are blue to purple in color and grow on spikes 2 to 6 inches tall. These plants are great attractors of pollinators and provide nutrient uptake, shoreline stabilization, and erosion control.
Common Arrowhead | Sagitarria latifolia
Arrowhead is an emergent plant grows up to 2 feet tall. It has arrowhead-shaped leaves that are 3 to 15 inches long. They have small, white flowers that grow in clusters. These plants are great attractors of pollinators and provide nutrient uptake, shoreline stabilization, and erosion control.