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Sagittaria latifolia

Common Names: Common Arrowhead, Wapato,  Duck Potato
Family: Alismataceae

Entry Author: J. Rogers and C. Westring
Description:   Shoreline perennials with distinctly arrow-shaped leaves
Arrow-shaped  leaves of varying width; may also have long, narrow, heart shaped floating leaves, and/or long, narrow submersed leaves
White, three petaled flowers arranged in circular fashion about a leafless stem in groups of three.  Some plants display both male and female flowers (dioecious) while some possess both flower genders on a single plant (monoecious), and still further, some flowers bare both male and female anatomy (hermaphroditic).  
 Small, oval seeds born out of pods from female flowers on matured flower stem    
Stem: Swollen at the base; with runners which produce edible tubers in the winter; composed almost entirely of starch
Branching Pattern:
Height:  80 cm
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Wet to marginal soil in sunny areas
Range:  Much of North America and Hawaii, excluding Nevada
Hardiness Zone: Hardy to USDA zone 3
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Common
Uses (Human):  Garden plant; pond restoration; edible tuber's during the fall season.  Tubers can also be ground into powder and used to make bread.  Tea made from the roots is used as a digestive.


Peterson, Roger Tory, and Margaret McKenny.  Peterson Field Guides:  A field guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and Northcentral North America.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968.

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: November 29, 2005.  <>

Rook, E.  Aquatic Plants Of the North: Sagittaria latifolia.  February 26, 2004.  Accessed:  November 29, 2005. <>

Shoreline Plants.  Washington State Department of Ecology.  Accessed:  November 29, 2005. <>

USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

This page was created by: J. Rogers, Northampton Community College, and K. Rice and C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/21/05