Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Arrowhead
Saggitaria latifolia
F. Alistamaceae

General Description:

Arrowhead is an aquatic wildflower that extends 30-120 cm. above water. The small, white flowers of this plant have broad, crepe-like petals and are arranged along a tall slender stalk. As indicated by the name, the glossy green, basal leaves have a distinctive arrow shape and vary in size and petiole length.

Saggitaria latifolia
Flowers:

The flowers of the arrowhead are relatively small, measuring approximately 16 mm in width. Each radially-symmetrical bloom has three, green sepals and three, white, broad, wavy-edged, crepe-like petals that are arranged around an open center of yellow stamens. These flowers are arranged in whorls at regular intervals along the length of the stem. .

Leaves:

As indicated by the name, the basal leaves of the arrowhead have a distinctive arrow shape that is formed by two lateral, backwards-projecting lobes. These leaves. The glossy green leaves have prominent veins and vary in most other characteristics concerning margins, lobing, width, size (5-40 cm in length), and have generally long but varied petiole lengths

Habitat:

Arrowhead grows best in shallow water, along water edges, in marshes, swamps, bogs, and in other wet areas.

Fun Facts:

Arrowhead produced large, starchy rhizomes, also known as "duck potatoes"; beneath the water level that provide a popular food source for muskrats and ducks.

Because of the popularity of this food source among muskrats, Native Americans often raided muskrat dwellings to retrieve their plentiful stores of these edible arrowhead rhizomes.

Saggitaria latifolia
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