Sagittaria latifolia Willd.


Arrowhead, Duck Potato


Duck potato is a highly rhizomatous perennial broadleaf emergent capable of attaining heights of 4 feet.. Each leaf lobe has an equally distinct vein radiating to it from the leaf base. Vegetative production peaks in July, but by mid fall the emergent plant parts annually die back to the root crown. Prior to the annual die back, nutrients and carbohydrates are translocated to subterranean tubers (root storage organs). Between July and September one or two tapering cylindrical inflorescence stalks emerge holding 2 to 15 whorls of white, three petaled flowers with yellow reproductive parts. Each stalk is taller than the leaves. From August to October round clusters of seed develop; with yields up to 20,000 viable seed produced per plant.


The seed and tubers of duck potato are readily consumed by waterfowl, songbirds, wading birds, muskrats, and beaver. The emergent foliage of this species provides cover to the same animals as well as fish and aquatic insects. During the growing season, the plant extracts nutrients and metals are extracted from sediments and water. Turbidity and wave energy is reduced by adequately stocked and healthy stands.


Water from six inches to one foot in depth.


By seed or vegetatively with tubers, bare- root or potted plants. A single plant can annually yield up to 40 tubers, with each tuber producing 3 to 5 planting units. Seeds need a three month moist stratification period. Use in greenhouse and nursery production or sow on well worked, saturated soil. Direct sunlight and temperatures of 80-90 degrees are needed for germination.