Marcus, Joseph A.
Justicia americana (L.) Vahl
American water-willow, Water-willow
Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)
An aquatic with bicolored flowers in dense, head-like or spike-like clusters on long slender stalks rising from leaf axils.
This colony-forming plant has underground stems. Loose-flowered Water-willow (J. ovata
), a similar species found from Virginia south to Florida and Alabama, has more loosely flowered spikes.
Image Gallery: 24 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , DC Canada: ON
, QC Native Distribution:
Ontario and Quebec; New York south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Native Habitat:
In water, moist soil, and mud in east and southeast Texas, on the Edwards Plateau, and in north central Texas. Sand, loam, clay, mud. Poor drainage okay. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: American water-willow blooms throughout the summer and colonizes by underground stems. It will grow in moist soil or submerged in a few feet of water. Larval food plant for the Texan Crescentspot butterfly. Good for wetland gardens and habitat.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Water garden
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Texan Crescentspot butterfly
Deer Resistant: Minimal