There is considerable confusion between this species and Sagittaria sagittifolia L. We are adopting the treatment in the Flora of China[
] and Kew's 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families'. In this view of the species, S. sagittifolia is fully temperate in its range, being found through most of Europe and into west Asia. S. Trifolia is the species cultivated for its edible tubers. In Europe it is only found in far eastern Russia, but extends through much of temperate Asia into tropical southeast Asia.
Sagittaria chinensis Sims
Sagittaria doniana Sweet
Sagittaria edulis Schltdl.
Sagittaria hastate D.Don
Sagittaria hirundinacea Blume
Sagittaria japonica H.Vilm.
Sagittaria leucopetala (Miq.) Bergmans
Sagittaria macrophylla Bunge
Sagittaria obtusa Thunb.
Sagittaria sagittata Thunb.
Sagittaria sagittifolia alismifolia Makino
Sagittaria sagittifolia angustifolia Siebold
Sagittaria sagittifolia diversifolia M.Michel
Sagittaria sagittifolia edulis (Schltdl.) Siebold ex Miq.
Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala (Miq.) Hartog
Sagittaria sagittifolia leucopetala Miq.
Sagittaria sagittifolia longiloba Turcz.
Sagittaria sagittifolia sinensis (Sims) Makino
Sagittaria sagittifolia subaequilonga Regel
Sagittaria sinensis Sims
Common Name: Arrow Head
Arrow head is a herbaceous aquatic perennial that reaches a height of about 1 metre[
]. The arrow-shaped leaves are borne on triangular stalks that vary in length with the depth of the water in which the plant is growing[
The plant is commonly cultivated in southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands for the edible starchy rhizomes[
Southern European Russia, through temperate Asia to tropical southeastern Asia in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Ponds, lakes, marshes, paddy fields and channels[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Found from the temperate zone through to the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 16 - 24°c, but can tolerate 12 - 28°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -10°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 00 - 1,200mm, but tolerates 600 - 1,500mm[
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position[
]. Grows best in a rich soil[
]. Prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 30 - 60cm deep[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5.5 - 8.2[
The plant requires at least a six month growing season in order to produce a crop[
Average yields can be 12 - 15 tonnes per hectare[
A polymorphic species, the sub-species S. trifolia leucopetala is the form extensively cultivated for its edible tubers in China and other parts of Asia[
Root - cooked[
]. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour[
]. The tubers should not be eaten raw[
].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[
].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 cultivated forms are about 10cm 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 as a vegetable and added to rice dishes[
]. Somewhat acrid.
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[
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 when large enough.
Division of the tubers in spring or autumn. Easy.
Runners potted up at any time in the growing season.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.