Sagittaria latifolia Willd.
Sagittaria chinensis Pursh
Sagittaria engelmanniana J.G. Sm. ssp. longirostra (Micheli) Bogin
Sagittaria esculenta Howell
Sagittaria latifolia Willd. var. obtusa (Muhl. ex Willd.) Wiegand
Sagittaria latifolia Willd. var. pubescens (Muhl. ex Nutt.) J.G. Sm.
Sagittaria longirostra (Micheli) J.G. Sm.
Sagittaria obtusa Muhl. ex Willd. non Thunb.
Sagittaria ornithorhyncha Small
Sagittaria planipes Fernald
Sagittaria pubescens Muhl. ex Nutt.
Sagittaria variabilis Engelm. var. obtusa (Muhl. ex Willd.) Engelm.
Sagittaria viscosa C. Mohr
Arrowhead, broad-leaved arrowhead, broadleaf arrowhead, duck potato, Indian potato, wapato
Broadleaf arrowhead is a North American native. It is named for its arrowhead-shaped leaves.
Identification: Arrowhead inhabits shallow wetlands and river banks. It reaches 8-39" (20-100 cm) in height, growing in colonies. The arrowhead-shaped leaves are up to 16" (40 cm) long and 10" (25 cm) across, supported on stems (petioles) up to 24" (60 cm) long. The petioles become thicker at the base. Flowers are about 1" (2.5 cm) across, white, with yellow centers and three petals. There are 2-3 flowers per flowering stalk.
Broadleaf arrowhead is easily confused with arumleaf arrowhead:
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|Flowers||Each flower has three white petals with yellow centers, and three green sepals; flowers are ⅜-¾" (1-2 cm) in diameter. Flower stalks held upward, not outward.||Each flower has three white petals with yellow centers, and three green sepals; flowers are 1½" (4 cm) in diameter. Flower stalks held outward, not upward.|
|Leaves||Leaves are 1¾-6" (5-15 cm) long. May also have floating or submersed leaves that are long and narrow, and floating leaves that are oval- or heart-shaped.||1¾-18" (5-45 cm) long.|
|Stem||Stalks are triangular in cross-section.||Stems angular in cross section.|
USDA Zones: 4-11
|Habitats||Shallow wetlands, river banks||Shallow wetlands, river banks|
Edibility: The long runners these plants use to spread themselves form 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) potato-like tubers at the ends. Dislodge them from the bottom with a hoe or rake so they float to the surface, gather the tubers, and cook them like potatoes. They are said to be delicious. [From the Peterson field guide listed below.] They were an important food source for Native Americans, although now they are classed as a nuisance in many areas.
Sagittaria latifolia on CalPhotos
Sagittaria latifolia on Missouriplants.com
Sagittaria latifolia at Illinois Wildflowers
Sagittaria latifolia on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
Sagittaria latifolia on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
Sagittaria latifolia on Wikipedia
Sagittaria latifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Sagittaria latifolia at the University of Florida IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Sagittaria latifolia on eFloras
Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides: Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977, p. 24
Sagittaria latifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 4-11: