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Common Name: Floating Manna Grass
Glyceria fluitans is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.45 metres tall.
It has edible and miscellaneous uses.
Europe, including Britain, temperate Asia the Caucasus and N. America.
Shallow water, either stagnant or slow flowing, or in wet soils whether acid or calcareous[
Succeeds in most soils, so long as they are wet, and in shallow water[
]. Dislikes shade.
This plant is occasionally cultivated for its edible seed[
], it is not very large and is somewhat fiddly to harvest but is considered to be an epicure's food[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. A sweetish taste, the seed was considered a delicacy in some parts of Europe and was an article of commerce until well into the 20th century[
]. A flour from the seed is said to make a bread little inferior to wheat bread, the flour can also be used as a thickener in soups etc when it imparts a sweet delicate flavour[
]. Unfortunately, the seed is very small and therefore the plant is relatively unproductive[
The leaves have been burnt as an incense[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse in a pot standing in 3 - 5cm of water. Surface sow the seed, or only just cover it. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.