Plants That Live in & Around Freshwater Ponds

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Plants That Live in & Around Freshwater Ponds
Yellow irises grow near ponds. (yellow iris image by Lani from

The term freshwater refers to water with a less than one per cent salt concentration. The plants which live in and around freshwater ponds are well adjusted to this low salt content. According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, these plants are not adapted for survival in high salt water such as those of oceans. Natural ponds are found in the hollows in the ground, while others are created artificially. Freshwater ponds contain a wide variety of aquatic plants; rushes and grass; and animals such as amphibians, invertebrates and different species of dragonflies.

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Yellow Iris

Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) is a marginal plant found on the edges of freshwater ponds. According to the Natural History Museum, yellow irises thrive in the continually damp conditions on pond banks and provide protection for amphibians. The yellow iris also is referred to as water flag, pale yellow iris and European yellow iris, and is a native of Western Asia and North Africa. The plants grow to a mature height of three to four feet and bear white to light yellow flowers from April to June. This water plant grows from rhizomes, and is tolerant of high levels of acidity, because of its high nitrogen requirement.

Common Cattail

Common cattail (Typha latifolia) is a well-known plant on pond, river and lake banks. The stiff plants are nearly 10 feet tall. The foliage resembles large blades of grass, and the flowers are like brown cylinders. Cattails grow from rhizomes and create thick stands, which are used as cover by a variety of animals living near the ponds, such as blackbirds and waterfowl. Cattails bloom from May to June and are among the best plants for preventing water erosion on water banks, according to the Study of Northern Virginia Ecology.

Water Mint

Water mint (Mentha aquatica) is a member of the mint family. The plant is just as aromatic as non-pond growing mints, is used for culinary purposes, as well. The plant has purplish-green, hairy foliage and blooms with distinct pink flowers between July and October. Water mint is commonly found growing on pond margins and bog gardens. The plant requires continually wet soil, which is why it favours pond banks.

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