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Water Willow

General Infomation

A common perennial distributed in the eastern U.S. Grows from rhizomes and is appreciated for erosion control (it stops the wave action in a cove) and for providing fish habitat.


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Species Data


Elongated (6 in. in length), simple, and attached oppositely along the stem. Strong midrib on the underside.


Bi-labiate (four petals, two on top, two on the sides) and light purple to white in color with dark purple dots on the lower petal. Sometimes flowers occur in groups of two on the ends of long flower stalks.Habitat: Shallow water on the edges of freshwater lakes. Tolerates sun or shade. It is often a good "trap" plant for hydrilla fragments, which can be intertwined in its branches.


Round, solid, and pithy.

Similar Species

May be confused with alligatorweed (which has hollow stems) and creeping water primrose (which has alternate leaves).

Aquatic Plants App

Whether you're a professional botanist or a casual nature enthusiast, the NC State University (NCSU) Aquatic Weeds app has detailed information on a wide variety of aquatic weeds to assist in identification.