Flowers: irregular; growing in a dense spike. Perianth: labiate; the three upper lobes marked with a greenish-yellow spot; the three lower ones being more spreading. Stamens: six; the three lower ones in the throat, the three upper ones shorter and imperfect. Pistil: one. Leaf: one only; borne at the top of the stem; lanceolate to arrow-shape. Stem: rising one to two feet above the water; stout; erect.
The pickerel-weed, we may fancy, is the reckless, dashing Kate of the underground garden. Evidently she has run away from home and her playmate, the pickerel, to take a peep through a serene lake border or a smooth stream which she has enticed into upholding her in her naughtiness. She comes with a troop of her companions, all gay, ragged and pert as she. Many are allured to the lake border by her brightness, and she would often be carried away to see more of the world but the cool, calm water is her protector. Perhaps the upper world is a disappointment to our young visitor: she lifts up her head for only one day, then withers and dies.