American Water Willow

Other Common Names:

(Justicia americana)


American water willow has round stems and alternate sword shaped leaves. Flowers have four petals that are violet or white; the bottom one has pink spots.


American water willow has simple stems that are thick, round, and grow upright; the plant can be up to three and a quarter feet tall. Alternate leaves are linear or sword shaped, thin at the base, and can grow more than six inches long and an inch wide. Flower spikes are a little more than an inch tall. The flowers themselves are a third to a half inch long and violet or white in color. They grow from the same place on the stem as the leaves. Flowers have four petals; the bottom petal can have pinkish or purplish spots near the center of the flower. American water willow fruit is about a half inch long, dry, and extends farther than the flower.


American water willow grows in shallow water or mud. Deer sometimes eat the leaves; beavers, muskrats, and nutria eat the rhizomes.


American water willow can be found across most of the United States.


seeds, roots