Do You Know Your Aquatic Plants?

Every water gardener has their favorite aquatic plants, but how well do you know the varieties available?  Test your aquatic plant knowledge by taking our short quiz!  See if you can identify these beauties by their photo and description. (Answers at the end.)

1. This dainty flowering plant thrives along the edges of a pond and in the streambed. This perennial’s tiny blue flowers bloom all summer long. Tuck it between rocks to soften the edges of your pond.

Aquatic Forget-Me-Not


2. The feathery fronds of this plant make an impressive statement when used along waterfalls. As it grows, it cascades over the rocks providing a lacy green touch of interest. Pinch it off during the growing season and you’ll have more plants to use along the edges or stream.

Parrot Feather in Pond


3. Part of a large family of what are commonly called waterlily-like plants, their leaves float at the surface of the water while the roots are anchored in soil below – much like the habit of a waterlily. This plant is constantly reproducing, spreading runners out along the surface of the pond.  Available in white, yellow, and orange blooms.

White Water Snowflake


4. This little plant is great for concealing edges and works well in shallow areas of the pond or stream. It softens the look of the pond’s edge and is easy to manage. Delightful, small yellow flowers add pops of color to your water feature.

Creeping Jenny


5. A beautiful plant consisting of red and green diamond-shaped leaves in 3-6″ wide rosettes. In the summer, this floating plant produces sunny yellow cup-shaped flowers. Easy to grow, the plant provides a place for your finned friends to hide underneath.

Yellow Mosaic Plant for the Pond


6. Truly stunning creatures in the water garden, these bloomers are often the reason why many gardeners add a pond to their landscape. These beauties are characterized by amazing flowers representing all colors in the light spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (including the collective white), and a number of shades in between. Available in both hardy and tropical varieties.

Nymphaea Red Attraction - water lily


7. Purple flowers bloom on this aromatic plant in late summer/early fall.  It’s attractive to butterflies and bees and is often selected for the water garden due to its pretty foliage. It grows two – three feet high.

Aquatic Mint - marginal pond plant


8. Grown along the edges of a pond or stream, this striking plant gets its name from the appearance of its drooping flower stalks. Dark green, heart-shaped leaves grow about 5 inches long. This plant is a popular perennial that blooms from June to September.

Lizard's Tail in a Koi Pond


9. Fuzzy green rosettes with dangling roots float on the surface of the pond, soaking up nutrients in the water which helps to prevent excessive growth of algae. A mass of them shades the water, helping to keep pond water cool during hot summer months while providing protection for your fish from predators.

Water Lettuce in Residential Pond


10. This quirky plant lends a punch of personality to the pond and can be planted in shallow edges up to 4”. The twisted grass-type plant comes in many varieties such as “Blue Medusa” and “Unicorn.”

Corkscrew Rush in Backyard Pond


11. This charmer’s leaves float on the surface of the pond while trailing vines spread under the water. An easy grower, this plant is great for surface coverage and algae elimination.  It also provides protection for your fish from predators. Although pretty, it can be invasive.

Water Clover at margin of pond


12. Only two species of this plant exist … American and Asiatic. Grown and bred for centuries, these two species have resulted in numerous hybrids that range in size and color. The flowers are gorgeous in appearance and the leaves are also quite striking. Typically grown in pots, inside or outside of the pond.

Pink Lotus - Nelumbo


13. Reminiscent of prehistoric plants, the small details on this erect plant are quite interesting and create a textured surface. It’s a favorite in any pond!

Horsetail - pond plant


14. Available in both pink and purple flowers, this flowering aquatic plant is reliable and blooms throughout the summer. When the blooms fade, simply trim them back before they flop over into the pond.

Purple pickerel


15. One of the hardest-to-kill pond plants, you’ll enjoy the softness of its slender leaves rustling in the wind.

Sweet flag - ogon


16. This charmer features the prettiest of white flowers on tufts of leaves. The plant sends out shoots across the water and even onto the land. Be sure to place it on the opposite side of where you sit to view the pond. You’ll want to make sure you can fully enjoy this plant.

Yerba Mansa - pond plant




  1. Forget Me Not
  2. Parrots Feather
  3. Water Snowflake
  4. Creeping Jenny
  5. Mosaic Plant
  6. Waterlily
  7. Aquatic Mint
  8. Lizards Tail
  9. Water Lettuce
  10. Corkscrew Rush 
  11. Water Clover
  12. Lotus
  13. Horsetail
  14. Pickerel
  15. Sweet Flag
  16. Yerba Mansa