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Ponds And Streams

There is a wide range of plants to use in and around your pond, including hardy and tropical water lilies, lotuses, submerged or floating aquatics, marginal aquatics, water irises, and bog plants. Browse our list of moisture-loving plants and create a stunning water garden or bog garden.

Ponds And Streams Guides


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Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag) is an attractive herbaceous perennial forming a tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped leaves adorned with creamy-white and green stripes. Often displaying a nice pink tinge in cold weather, the foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised.

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Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag) is a spreading, marginal aquatic perennial forming a tuft of erect, sword-shaped, bright green leaves adorned with one slightly wavy edge and a prominent midrib. In late spring, this plant bears inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers in finger-like inflorescences, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), which give way to tiny, reddish berries. Both the crushed foliage and rootstocks have a pleasant aromatic fragrance. A great choice for naturalizing, Sweet Flag is quite versatile in the garden and makes a decorative foliage accent in water gardens and around ponds.

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Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag) is a semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial forming an attractive tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped, golden-yellow leaves adorned with olive green stripes. The foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised and evergreen in mild winter areas.

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Acrostichum danaeifolium (Giant Leather Fern)

Acrostichum danaeifolium (Giant Leather Fern) is an evergreen fern adorned with very tall, erect to arching, pinnately divided fronds. Up to 12 ft. long (360cm), the fronds are deep green above, paler beneath. Incredibly showy, the fertile fronds are densely coated with reddish to cinnamon spore cases, giving the plant a bi-color appearance. Native to Florida, Giant Leather Fern occurs naturally in brackish and freshwater marshes of the central and southern peninsula.

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Aeschynomene fluitans (Botswana Wonder)

Aeschynomene fluitans (Botswana Wonder) is an aquatic perennial forming a dense, floating mat of hollow to spongy stems that spread rapidly over the water surface. The stems are clothed with pinnately compound, blue-green leaves that close up when slightly touched. The leaves have small oblong leaflets, 16-26 pairs per pinna, arranged in opposite pairs. Dainty, yellow flowers, resembling sweet-peas, appear over the foliage from summer to fall.

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Agarista populifolia (Florida Hobblebush)

Agarista populifolia (Florida Hobblebush) is a large evergreen shrub with a lax, arching, multi-stemmed habit. Its gracefully upward-arching branches are clothed with alternately arranged, lance-shaped leaves.

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Alisma plantago-aquatica (European Water Plantain)

Alisma plantago-aquatica (European Water Plantain) is a robust aquatic perennial forming rosettes of long-stalked, lance-shaped, gray-green leaves to 12 in. in length (30 cm), often splashed with purple. In late spring and throughout the summer, very fragrant, forked, white to very pale pink flowers with rounded tips and smooth or jagged edges, are borne in tall panicles. There are arranged in whorls that form large conical-shaped clouds of white or pink. The long-lasting flowers provide a focal point that gives the pond depth and interest.

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Alnus rhombifolia (White Alder)

Fast-growing, Alnus rhombifolia (White Alder) is a medium-sized deciduous tree of graceful habit with a straight trunk, and a pyramidal crown in youth, becoming more oval with age. The slender, horizontal branches spread out, then droop at the tips. The ash gray bark is thin and smooth on young trees, becoming scaly on mature trees. The foliage of broadly ovate, finely toothed leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), emerges apple green before turning glossy dark green.

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Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder)

Most attractive, Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) is a large, spreading deciduous shrub or small tree of pyramidal habit with a densely branched canopy. Its multi-stemmed trunks are covered with shiny gray-brown bark. The foliage of undulating, elliptic to obovate, glossy green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), turns yellow-brown in the fall. In early to mid spring, long, pendant, pale yellow male catkins, 4 in. long (10 cm), dangle like Christmas decorations.

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Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry)

Early-flowering, Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry) is a large deciduous shrub or small tree of rounded habit boasting a profusion of 5-petaled, showy, slightly fragrant, white flowers in early to mid spring. Borne in drooping clusters, they appear before the leaves emerge.

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Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian Serviceberry)

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian Serviceberry) is a dense, upright, multi-stemmed large shrub or small tree with a delicate, dome-shaped crown. In mid spring, attractive erect sprays of small, slightly fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers emerge just before the leaves.

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Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy Bluestem)

An impressive ornamental grass for moist soils, Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy Bluestem) is a clump-forming, warm-season grass forming a sturdy and upright tuft of tall, flattened leaf blades. Emerging blue green in spring, the foliage turns rich coppery-orange in the fall. Elegant tall flowering stems rise above the foliage in late summer to early fall, bearing densely clustered, clublike, silvery pink to white panicles.

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Anemone canadensis (Meadow Anemone)

Anemone canadensis (Meadow Anemone) is an herbaceous perennial producing masses of upward-facing, brilliant white flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), adorned with a bouquet of contrasting yellow stamens. Blooming in mid spring to early summer, they are borne atop erect hairy flowering stems clothed with broad, deeply cut and sharply-toothed leaves.

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Anemone parviflora (Small-Flowered Anemone)

Anemone parviflora (Small-Flowered Anemone) is a charming herbaceous perennial boasting solitary, poppy-like flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), with a central boss of yellow stamens. White above, the blossoms are silky and tinged with blue below. Blooming in late spring to late summer, they are borne atop sturdy stems rising from a small clump of glossy, dark green, three-parted basal leaves.

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Anemone rivularis (Riverside Windflower)

Anemone rivularis (Riverside Windflower) is a clump-forming perennial with stiff, free-branching stems bearing umbels of delicate, saucer-shaped, white flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), often tinged blue on the reverse. The flowers feature interesting violet-blue anthers. Blooming in late spring and early summer, the blossoms are borne above deeply divided, dark green leaves.

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