Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliott
Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliot
Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliot var. laevigatus Torr. & A. Gray
Decodon verticillatus (L.) Elliott var. laevigatus Torr. & A. Gray
Water-willow, swamp-loosestrife, water willow, waterwillow
Waterwillow is a native to eastern North America. It is found in swamps and shallow water, ditches, or along pond, stream, or lake edges. Soil must be mucky, peaty, or sandy.
Plants: These shrubs may reach up to 8' (2.4 m) in height. Though classified as shrubs, these plants straddle the border between shrubs and herbaceous plants. The underwater parts of the plants persist through the winter, but the above water parts die back. Long stems are unbranched or with few branches. Stems above the water line are somewhat angular. They are pale green to red in color, and woody near the base. When stem tips hit moist ground, they root, forming clonal colonies over time.
Leaves: Lanceolate, opposite or in whorls of 3 or 4. Each leaf is up to 6" (15 cm) × 2" (5 cm), smooth on top, sometimes hairy below, on short petioles (stalks). The leaf has smooth edges and tapers to a point.
Flowers: Flowers are variously described as somewhere between purple to rose pink to red. Each flower has five to seven crinkly petals, and five long stamens and five more shorter ones. They appear in clusters at leaf axils, from June to July. Each flower cluster is about 2" (5 cm) around.
Fruits: Spherical dark brown capsules about ¼" (6.3 mm) around contain many reddish seeds.
Decodon verticillatus on illinoiswildflowers.info
Decodon verticillatus at Minnesota Wildflowers
Decodon verticillatus on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org
Decodon verticillatus at the University of Florida IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Decodon verticillatus on Wikipedia
Decodon verticillatus on michiganflora.net
Decodon verticillatus on wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu
Decodon verticillatus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 1 Jan 2021.