ARROWHEAD Sagittaria latifolia

ARROWHEAD Sagittaria latifolia

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Sagittaria latifolia is a plant found in shallow wetlands and is sometimes known as broadleaf arrowhead, duck-potato, Indian potato, or wapato. Sagittaria latifolia is a variably sized perennial growing in colonies that can cover large amounts of ground. The roots are white and thin, producing white tubers. The plant produces rosette of leaves, and attractive white flowers on a long scape. Sagittaria latifolia is native to southern Canada and most of the contiguous United States, as well as Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cuba. It is also naturalized in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Bhutan, Australia and much of Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and European Russia). Extremely frequent as an emergent plant, broadleaf arrowhead forms dense colonies on very wet soils that become more open as the species mixes with other species of deeper water levels. These colonies forms long bands following the curves of rivers, ponds and lakes, well-marked by the dark green color of the leaves. The plant has strong roots and can survive through wide variations of the water level, slow currents and waves. Despite the name duck potato, ducks rarely consume the tubers, which are usually buried too deep for them to reach, although they often eat the seeds. No parts of these plants or seeds are meant for human consumption. This plant is easily cultivated in 0.15 m to 0.45 m of water with no or little current. The tubers are planted well spaced (no more than 12 plants per square meter) at the end of May at a depth of 5 to 7 cm. Fertilize with decomposed manure. They can be multiplied through seeding or division in July.

Hardiness zones: 3-11. They grow in rivers here in Canada.

Type: Hardy perennial water plant

Height: 24-36", 60-90cm

Location: Sun or part sun

Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done: Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist. It is important to keep these seeds (and plants) constantly moist or wet, as even slightly dry soil will end the germination process.

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