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Common Name: Wapato
Sagittaria cuneata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
N. America - Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Connecticut, Kansas, and California.
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[
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[
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[
The plant has been used to treat headaches[
The corms have been eaten as a treatment for indigestion[
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.