Common Arrowhead

Common Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) is doing very well this year around the ponds at Audubon as well as in other wet places I drive by.

Common Arrowhead

It’s a pretty, white, 3-petaled flower with arrow-shaped leaves that grows on the pond’s edge – or even right IN the water.  Newcomb’s description says: “The leaves vary from broadly to very narrowly arrow-shaped.”  That was very evident during a walk at Audubon this week.  Take a look at the variation we observed:

Broadly arrow-shaped:
Common Arrowhead 1 - fat leaves

Medium:
Common Arrowhead 3 - Medium-sized Leaves

Narrow:
Common Arrowhead 2 - Skinny Leaves

There are lots of different kinds of Arrowheads.  The USDA Plant Database lists 28 species.

Peterson’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants calls the Arrowheads “Duck Potatoes” and describes how the tubers can be freed from the mud of the pond with a hoe or rake, then collected when they float to the surface.  The passage goes on, “Although slightly unpleasant when eaten raw, the tubers are delicious when cooked; prepare them as you would potatoes.”  Collection time:  Fall through early spring.

I keep telling myself I’m going to try some of these Wild Foods… but I never do… Hmm….