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Common Name: Bur Reed
Sparganium erectum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Found in most northern temperate regions, including Britain.
Muddy or peaty shores and shallow water to 30cm deep, in ponds, ditches and ungrazed marshland[
Grows in muddy ground or water up to 30cm deep[
]. Requires a rich soil[
]. Tolerates some shade[
]. Tolerates deep shade[
An important autumn and winter food source for wild fowl.
Root - cooked[
, 61. 105,
]. A sweetish flavour[
Stem base - cooked[
An infusion of the whole plant, mixed with other plant leaves, has been used in the treatment of chills[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a pot in the greenhouse. Stand the pots in 2 - 3cm 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 level with the tops of the pots[
]. Plant them out in the summer if they have grown sufficiently, otherwise plant them out in the following spring.
Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.