Botanical Name: Catabrosa aquatica
Synonyms : Glyceria aquatica.
Common Name : Water WhirlGrass
Habitat: Catabrosa aquatica is native to Most of Europe, including Britain but absent in Spain and Portugal, N. and W. Asia, Algeria. It grows in shallow streams and ditches, at the muddy margins of ponds and in wet sandy places near the sea all over Britain.
Catabrosa aquatica is a perennial plant, growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in). The Plant is often stoloniferous. Culms 10-60 cm, glabrous. Sheaths glabrous; ligules 1-8 mm, acute to truncate, erose to subentire; blades (1)3-15(20) cm long, 2-13 mm wide. Panicles 3-35 cm long, (1)2-10(12) cm wide; nodes distant, with 3 to many, often very unequal branches. Spikelets 1.5-3.5(4) mm, terete to somewhat dorsiventrally compressed, lowest floret sessile, second floret on an elongate internode; rachilla internodes 0.75-1.5 mm. Lower glumes 0.7-1.3 mm, often not reaching the base of the distal floret; upper glumes 1.2-2.2 mm; lemmas 2-3 mm; anthers 2-3 mm. 2n = 20, 30.
It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Seeds are edible . No more information is given, but the seed is very small and fiddly to use. It would probably have been used as piñole or have been ground into a powder and used as a mush, as a thickener in soups and stews, or in making cakes, bread etc.
A decoction of the plant has been used as a stimulant and tonic.
The plant has been burnt as an incense.
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