ARROWHEAD
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Sagittaria latifolia  Willd.
Ellsworth County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: Up to 60 inches tall
Family: Alismataceae - Water Plantain Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Also Called: Duck-potato.
Stems: Flowering stalks up to 48 inches tall arise from tuberous rootstocks buried in the mud.
Leaves: Variable, on long, erect stalks up to 60 inches long; blades to 20 inches long; mostly arrowhead-shaped, prominently nerved; apex and basal lobes triangular to long and narrow, basal lobes parallel to widely divergent. In broad blades, the basal lobes are somewhat shorter than the terminal lobe but are longer than the terminal lobe in narrow blades.
Inflorescences: Flowers in whorls of 3; whorls 2-15, on slender, erect flowering stalks that often exceed the leaves; upper whorls staminate, flowers on short stalks; lower whorls pistillate, flowers on longer, sometimes ascending stalks; pistillate flowers bloom before staminate; whorls subtended by bracts; bracts 3, boat-shaped, to .6 inch long, papery, blunt or pointed.
Flowers: Sepals 3, to .4 inch long, green, reflexed in fruit; petals 3, about .8 inch long, showy, white; stamens and pistils on a convex receptacle; stamens 20-40; filaments slender, linear, glabrous; anthers oblong.
Fruits: Achene, obovate, to 1/6 inch long, beaked, margins winged, faces without wings or sharp ridges; seeds horseshoe-shaped. Fruits in spherical heads to 1.5 inch across.
Habitat: In shallow water; slow streams, shorelines of lakes and ponds, marshes, and ditches.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Uses: Several prairie tribes ate the potato-like tubers boiled or roasted. The Lewis and Clark expedition recorded in their journal that they were fed roasted Sagittaria rootstocks by Native Americans in the Northwest. Native Americans steeped the roots and took the tea for indigestion and used a tea from the plant to treat rheumatism.

Arrowhead
48 KB
Ellsworth County, Kansas
Arrowhead leaf
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Ellsworth County, Kansas
Arrowhead flower
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Ellsworth County, Kansas
Arrowhead inflorescence with lower pistillate flowers in bloom
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Ellsworth County, Kansas