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Sagittaria sagittifolia - L.                
                 
Common Name Arrow Head, Hawaii arrowhead
Family Alismataceae
Synonyms Sagittaria japonica.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Ponds, canals and slow flowing water on muddy sub-strata in water up to 45cm deep, in acid or calcareous conditions[17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, temperate Asia and N. America.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun

Summary       
Sagittaria sagittifolia (commonly "Arrowhead") is a flowering wetland perennial native to temperate Europe and Asia. It commonly grows in standing, or slow-moving water, 10-50 cm deep. Arrow-shaped leaves are produced at the terminal end of a petiole up to 45 cm long. Edible starchy tubers are found at the base of long, slender roots in the fall, as leaves die back. A similar plant, Sagittaria latifolia, is common to the west coast of North America, and can be used in the same manner.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Sagittaria sagittifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, 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 : 6-9


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 sagittifolia Arrow Head, Hawaii arrowhead


Sagittaria sagittifolia Arrow Head, Hawaii arrowhead
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fice
   
Habitats       
 Pond; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked[2, 4, 13, 56]. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour[116]. The tubers should not be eaten raw[200].The skin is rather bitter and is best removed after the tubers have been cooked[183]. Tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel etc or be added to cereal flours and used in making bread[55, 94].The roots (tubers really) are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers of wild plants are about 15cm in diameter and are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. The dried root contains (per 100g) 364 calories, 17g protein, 1g fat, 76.2g carbohydrate, 3.1g fibre, 5.8g ash, 44mg calcium, 561mg phosphorus, 8.8mg iron, 2,480mg potassium, 0.54mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 4.76mg niacin and 17mg ascorbic acid. They contain no carotene[218]. Leaves and young stems - cooked[183]. Somewhat acrid.
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.

Antiscorbutic;  Diuretic;  Galactofuge.

The plant is antiscorbutic, diuretic[4]. The leaf is used to treat a variety of skin problems[218]. The tuber is discutient, galactofuge and may induce premature birth[218].
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 30 - 60cm deep[200]. Plants are fairly cold tolerant, surviving temperatures down to at least -10°c, though the top growth is damaged once temperatures fall below zero. They grow best in warm weather and require at least a six month growing season in order to produce a crop[206]. A polymorphic species, the sub-species S. sagittifolia leucopetala is extensively cultivated for its edible bulb in China where there are many named varieties[2, 56, 61].
                                                                                 
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                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
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]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[13]Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[55]Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds.
Interesting reading.
[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.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[94]Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West.
Useful wild plants in Western N. America. A pocket guide.
[116]Brooklyn Botanic Garden Oriental Herbs and Vegetables, Vol 39 No. 2.
A small booklet packed with information.
[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.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[206]Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables
Well written and very informative.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Sagittaria sagittifolia  
             

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