Sagittaria is a northern hemisphere genus containing 30 species of marginal aquatic plants with beautiful, 3-petaled, white, tradescantia-like flowers. As the name suggests, the leaves of many Sagittaria species are sagittate or arrowhead-shaped. Another nice ornamental feature.
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In east Asia, people cook and eat the walnut-sized, starchy, potato-like Sagittaria rhizomes, and in the past, so did native Americans. Although the common name suggests that ducks eat Sagittaria tubers, they do not. But beavers, muskrats, and porcupines do. Apparently, harvesting the deep-growing tubers in fall is not as hard as you might think. Originally, native peoples used their feet to dig them up and later, used pitch forks to free them from the soil. When grown in water, Sagittaria tubers will float to the surface after being loosened. Sometimes, the young leaves are also cooked and eaten. In the garden, Sagittaria prefers a moist site such as a bog or the edge of a pond and it will even grow in water and in aquariums. The plants spread via runners, so eventually your Sagittaria will form a nice thick patch along the edge of your bog garden. The arrowhead-shaped leaves of Sagittaria will pair well with Acorus, Sarracenia, and wetland species of ferns like certain Dryopteris. When you are ready to buy Sagittaria for your garden, check out our online list of Sagittaria for sale.