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Natural Highlights: Lizard Tail

  Lizard Tail

Lizard Tail is a common and abundant wetland plant that is blooming right now in the bottomlands along the Wolf River.  Those frequenting W.C.Johnson Park in Collierville can see several large colonies along the boardwalk there, as can visitors to the Kennedy Park wetland trail in Memphis and the Mineral Slough boardwalk in LaGrange, in addition to many other locations.

Saururus cernuus, also called Lizard’s Tail or Water Dragon, is an aquatic perennail that spreads by rhizomes to form colonies. Plants typically grow to 2-4’ tall in the wild. In cultivation in water gardens, Lizard Tail more typically grows 1-2' tall. It is native to Ontario, Quebec and southern New England south to Florida and Texas, and is commonly found in swampy woods, sloughs, spring branches and slow-moving streams (Steyermark). The plant features heart-shaped leaves (3-6” long) on erect, branching, somewhat zig-zag stems and tiny fragrant white flowers packed into slender, tapered, spike-like racemes (4-12” long) that droop at the tips.The flowers bloom from June to September, giving way to small green warty fruits. The nodding flower/fruit spike.

Lizard Tail is great water garden plant and likes shady or partiallly shady wet areas in the yard.  It's flowers attract pollinating insects. It is also a forage plant for waterfowl and turtles, and provides shelter for many other animals.
 

For more information on Lizard Tail, please visit the following links:

LBJ Wildflower Center

Illinois Wildflowers

Go Botany

 

 

Posted by Cathy Justis at 1:29 PM