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Sagittaria_latifolia - Willd.

Common Name Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead
Family Alismataceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
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    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Sagittaria_latifolia Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Sagittaria_latifolia Duck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead
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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 July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Insects.
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.

Synonyms

Sagitta latifolia (Willd.) Nieuwl. Sagittaria esculenta Howell. Sagittaria gigantea Riddell [Illegitimate]. Sagittaria gracilis Pursh. Sagittaria hastata Pursh. Sagittaria longirostra (Micheli) J.G.Sm. Sagittaria obtusa Muhl. ex Willd. [Illegitimate]. Sagittaria ornithorhyncha Small. Sagittaria planipes Fernald. Sagittaria pubescens Muhl. Sagittaria simplex Pursh. Sagittaria variabilis Engelm.Sagittaria viscosa C.Mohr

Habitats

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

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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].

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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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Sagittaria latifoliaDuck Potato, Broadleaf Arrowhead51

 

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Expert comment

Author

Willd.

Botanical References

60200274

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

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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