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What is Ginoozhegoons (aka pickerel weed, moose ear, pontederia cordata), and why is it such a problem in wild rice lakes?

1 August 2010

By:  Thomas Howes

Pickerelweed is a perennial species of native origin that likes the same conditions that wild rice does. Shallow, rich organic sediments are ideal conditions for both species, but pickerelweed has the advantage of being perennial. Pickerelweed  colonies get bigger and bigger each year, while wild rice is an annual plant, growing from an individual seed to plant each year. Because we want rice every year, water levels are held in a steady state that is good for wild rice growth. Unfortunately, this water level is ideal for pickerelweed as well. One option being considered is to flood out the pickerelweed every four or five years, mimicking nature’s cycles. This would mean sacrificing the rice for the year as well, but may be one of the tools to use in managing for the long term.

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