Sagittaria sagittifolia

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

Synonyms : Wapatoo. Is’-ze-kn.,Sagittaria japonica.

Common Name:Arrowhead

Habitat :The Arrowhead is a water plant widely distributed in Europe and Northern Asia, as well as North America, and abundant in many parts of England, though only naturalized in Scotland. it is  native to wetlands throughout the temperate regions of Europe and Asia; in Britain it is the only native Sagittaria.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing in water from 10–50 cm deep. The leaves above water are arrowhead-shaped, the leaf blade 15–25 cm long and 10–22 cm broad, on a long petiole holding the leaf up to 45 cm above water level. The plant also has narrow linear submerged leaves, up to 80 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are 2-2.5 cm broad, with three small sepals and three white petals, and numerous purple stamens.

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Cultivation:        
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position. Prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 30 – 60cm deep. Plants are fairly cold tolerant, surviving temperatures down to at least -10°c, though the top growth is damaged once temperatures fall below zero. They grow best in warm weather and require at least a six month growing season in order to produce a crop. A polymorphic species, the sub-species S. sagittifolia leucopetala is extensively cultivated for its edible bulb in China where there are many named varieties.

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 – cooked. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour[116]. The tubers should not be eaten raw[200].The skin is rather bitter and is best removed after the tubers have been cooked. Tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel etc or be added to cereal flours and used in making bread[55, 94].The roots (tubers really) are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers of wild plants are about 15cm in diameter and are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. The dried root contains (per 100g) 364 calories, 17g protein, 1g fat, 76.2g carbohydrate, 3.1g fibre, 5.8g ash, 44mg calcium, 561mg phosphorus, 8.8mg iron, 2,480mg potassium, 0.54mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 4.76mg niacin and 17mg ascorbic acid. They contain no carotene. Leaves and young stems – cooked. Somewhat acrid.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Antiscorbutic;  Diuretic;  Galactofuge.
The plant is antiscorbutic, diuretic. The leaf is used to treat a variety of skin problems. The tuber is discutient, galactofuge and may induce premature birth.

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_sagittifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/arrow063.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sagittaria+sagittifolia

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