Sagittaria cuneata

Botanical Name :Sagittaria cuneata
Family: Alismataceae
Genus: Sagittaria
Species: S. cuneata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Sagittaria arifolia.

Common Names :Arumleaf arrowhead,Wapato

Habitat : Sagittaria cuneata  is native to much of North America, including most of Canada and the western and northeastern United States. It grows on calcareous or muddy shores and shallow waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, pastures, and ditches, occasional in tidal waters, or in deep flowing water with slow current; 100 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Sagittaria cuneata is an aquatic plant, growing in slow-moving and stagnant water bodies such as ponds and small streams. It is quite variable in appearance across individuals, and submerged parts of the plant look different from those growing above the surface or on land. In general it is a perennial herb growing from a white or blue-tinged tuber. The leaves are variable in shape, many of them sagittate, or shaped like arrowheads with two smaller, pointed lobes opposite the tip. The leaf blades are borne on very long petioles. The plant is monoecious, with individuals bearing both male and female flowers. The inflorescence which rises above the surface of the water is a raceme made up of several whorls of flowers, the lowest node bearing female flowers and upper nodes bearing male flowers. The flower is up to 2.5 centimeters wide with white petals. The male flowers have rings of yellow stamens at the centers. Female flowers each have a spherical cluster of pistils which develops into a head of tiny fruits.

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Cultivation:
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in shallow, still or slowly flowing water. Plants are usually monoecious but dioecious forms are sometimes found. A very polymorphic species. In mud or shallow water the leaves are broad, but in deep water the plant only produces long slender leafstalks. This plant has potential for commercial cultivation as a root crop.

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.
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. Slightly bitter raw, the roasted tubers are sweet-tasting. Those tubers found at the end of the rootstock are the best. When broken off from the roots the tubers rise to the water surface and are then easily gathered.

Medicinal Uses;
The Maidu of California used an infusion of arrowhead roots to clean and treat wounds. The Navajo use these plants for headaches. The Ojibwa and the Chippewa used Sagittaria species as a remedy for indigestion. The Cherokee used an infusion of leaves to bathe feverish babies, with one sip given orally. The Iroquois used it for rheumatism, a dermatological aid, and a laxative. The Iroquois used it as a ceremonial blessing when they began planting corn.The plant has been used to treat headaches. The corms have been eaten as a treatment for indigestion.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_cuneata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.madrean.org/maba/symbflora/taxa/index.php?taxon=1938

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Sagittaria+cuneata

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