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Sagittaria latifolia - Willd.                
                 
Common Name Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead
Family Alismataceae
Synonyms Sagittaria obtusa. Sagittaria variabilis. Sagittaria chinensis. Sagittaria engelmanniana J.G. Sm. ss
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Ditches, ponds, lakes and swampy areas in most parts of N. America[60].
Range N. America - all areas except the far north. Naturalized in various parts of Europe[50].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Sagittaria latifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

Sagittaria latifolia Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead


Sagittaria latifolia Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1
   
Habitats       
 Pond; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[62, 105]. Excellent when roasted, the texture is somewhat like potatoes with a taste like sweet chestnuts[85, 92, 94, 159, 256]. The tubers can be eaten raw but they are rather bitter (especially the skin)[85, 102, 159]. It is best to remove this skin after the tubers have been cooked[183]. The tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel or mixed with cereal flours and used to make bread[85, 94]. The N. American Indians would slice the boiled roots into thin sections and then string them on ropes to dry in much the same way as apples[183].The egg-shaped tubers are 4 - 5cm long and are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant[85, 92, 94]. The tubers are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down[92, 95]. They cannot be harvested by pulling out the plant since the tops break off easily, leaving the tubers in the ground[213].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Digestive;  Poultice.

A poultice of the leaves has been used to stop milk production[222]. A tea made from the roots is used as a digestive[222, 257]. A poultice of the roots is used in the treatment of wounds and sores[222, 257].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position[1]. Prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 12cm deep[1, 56]. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species[92].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in about 5cm of water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and gradually increase the depth of water as the plants grow until it is about 5cm above the top of the pot. Plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division of the tubers in spring or autumn. Easy. Runners potted up at any time in the growing season.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Willd.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
60200274
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[56]Muhlberg. H. Complete Guide to Water Plants.
Deals with a wide range of plants for temperate areas (and indoor aquaria) with quite a lot of information on cultivation techniques.
[60]Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
[62]Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants.
Very readable.
[85]Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
[92]Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants.
A nice readable book.
[94]Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West.
Useful wild plants in Western N. America. A pocket guide.
[95]Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
[102]Kavasch. B. Native Harvests.
Another guide to the wild foods of America.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[159]McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[187]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2.
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
[213]Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food.
A nice book to read though it is difficult to look up individual plants since the book is divided into separate sections dealing with the different medicinal uses plus a section on edible plants. Common names are used instead of botanical.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[256]Turner. N. J. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples
Excellent little handbook about the native food plants of Western Canada. Good descriptions of the plants and their uses with colour photos of most plants.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Terry Spurgeon Thu Nov 23 2006
Sagittaria latifolia is quite common along the Fraser River in the Fraser Valley region of Southwestern British columbia, especially in the environs of the Pitt River. It certainly can't be called rare in British Columbia.

Simon Fraser University Library MA Thesis - Terrence Spurgeon - about Wapato

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