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Plants for Ottawa-area Water Gardens


This section offers profiles of plants suitable for water gardens in the Ottawa area. It is a work in progress and it is hoped that GOWGHS members and other interested people will contribute information to improve and expand this resource.


Contributions may be addressed to You are invited to submit revisions or additions to existing profiles as well as new profiles. Information based on experience in the Ottawa area is particularly welcome.


The original compiler of these pages promotes the use of native plants in public and private gardens, which explains the emphasis on plants indigenous to eastern Ontario and western Quebec. All the plants included here are available for purchase locally unless otherwise noted. Some will be more difficult to find than others.


Doug Tallamy makes convincing arguments for the use of native species in two engaging books – Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape – both of which can be borrowed from the Ottawa Public Library.



Plant List


Plants often have many common names in many different languages, but each species has only one botanical (scientific) name. The system is quite simple and it is accepted worldwide. Each plant has a species name consisting of two parts. The first word is the genus and the second word is the specific epithet. Both parts together are referred to as the species. Immediately following is the authority or name of the botanist who first published the name of that plant. Hybrids are designed by an “×” between two names (e.g., Iris × hollandica).


Botanical names are Latinized, but they may be derived from words of other languages or from the names of people or places. They often refer to a unique feature of the plant, such as habit, growth form, or colour.


The nomenclature (system of names) used in this section follows the Plants of Canada Database for botanical names.



Alisma triviale     Northern Water Plantain


Caltha palustris     Marsh Marigold


Chelone glabra     White Turtlehead


Iris versicolor     Northern Blue Flag Iris


Lobelia cardinalis     Cardinal Flower


Nuphar variegata     Yellow Pond Lily


Nymphaea odorata     Fragrant White Water Lily


Pontederia cordata     Pickerelweed


Saururus cernuus     Lizard's Tail







Plant List
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