Demonstration Wetlands Garden Project

Water Mill Museum, Old Mill Road, Water Mill, New York

Broadleaf Arrowhead   Sagittaria latifolia


This semi-submerged succulent – commonly known as duck potato and Indian onion -- has arrowhead leaves that grow up to three feet tall, and produces white flowers in summer. Its small nutlet seeds and tuberous egg-shaped roots are favorite foods of waterfowl and muskrats. It is best planted in full sun in the spring in mud or water as deep as two feet. The plant serves as a good water filter and oxidizer if it can be protected from grazing animals.

The Shinnecock Indians harvested many parts of this plant -- for food, for fiber for mats and baskets, and for calking and other home uses.

image credits: Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. West Region, Sacramento, CA. Courtesy of USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute.

 

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© 2007 Water Mill Museum, 41 Old Mill Road, Water Mill, Long Island, New York 11976
updated June 18, 2007