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Marcus, Joseph A.
Justicia americana (L.) Vahl
American water-willow, Water-willow
Synonym(s): Dianthera americana, Dianthera americana var. subcoriacea, Justicia americana var. subcoriacea, Justicia mortuifluminis, Justicia umbratilis
USDA Symbol: juam
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
, WV 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.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
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
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2010-05-06
Research By: TWC Staff, JSC