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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns which are in the process of spring reseeding. While the grass is establishing now, visitors should expect the majority of lawns to be ready for use in late May.  Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 5 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

The Reflecting Pool Blooms

Aug 30, 2021 | Horticulture

The Reflecting Pool Blooms

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The Reflecting Pool at the northern end of Madison Square Park features a seasonal native water garden. White and blue flowers are nestled within the reflective black water creating beautiful reflections mixed with local architecture and the skyline above. 

While visiting, you may have noticed the white flowers of Sagittaria latifolia. It is commonly called the broadleaf arrowhead because of its arrow shaped leaves. This plant produced a tuber with a taste similar to a potato that can be harvested and eaten. Native to North America and commonly found in wet soils, this plant is a favorite food of muskrats and beavers who will store tubers in their nests for a winter snack.

Pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata can reach heights of 3 feet tall and produce a single spike of purple flowers. This plant is also commonly found throughout North America and regularly blooms from June through September. The flowers open from the bottom up prolonging the flowering period for several days. Pickerelweed is also edible; the seeds can be eaten like nuts and the leaves can be cooked as greens!

Last but not least, we have Nymphaea odorata, the American white waterlily. This classic water lily has white flowers with yellow stamens. The flowers open each day and close at night. Once the flowers are pollinated, the fruit is pulled back under the water where it slowly matures. The American white water lily has both medicinal and edible parts: the seeds, leaves, flowers, and rhizomes all can be eaten but the rhizomes were thought to be effective against colds and coughs. 

Not only is this spot an oasis for parkgoers but it’s an important addition to supporting dragonflies in the park, our natural mosquito predators and a tasty snack for birds. 

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