Alphabetical Plant Listing

Justicia americana (American Water-Willow)

American Water-Willow, Water-Willow, Dianthera americana, Dianthera americana var. subcoriacea, Justicia americana var. subcoriacea, Justicia mortuifluminis, Justicia umbratilis


Justicia americana (American Water-Willow) is an emergent aquatic perennial with willow-like, narrow, medium green leaves, 2-6 in. long (5-15 cm). In late spring to early fall for about 2-4 months, the plant boasts showy flowers, 3/4 in. long (2 cm), borne in whorled clusters atop thick, leafless stems. The delicate blossoms feature a notched, light purple upper lip and a 3-lobed lower lip with purple markings. Usually, only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. The nectar-rich flowers attract many insects including bees, skipper butterflies as well as hummingbirds. Native to North America, American Water-Willow spreads mostly from rhizomes and occurs on muddy shores and in shallow waters of slow streams, lakes, and ponds. Deer will browse the leaves, while beaver, muskrat, and nutria will consume the rhizomes. American Water-Willow helps stabilize banks and prevent erosion. It should be utilized in water gardens, along shorelines, and in water garden containers.

  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm). The root system is highly rhizomatous, forming colonies over time.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade, in shallow standing water, up to 3 ft. deep (90 cm), or wet soil that is muddy, sandy, or gravelly.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by cuttings or by seed.
  • Native to North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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Peganum, Judy Gallagher, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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