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Sagittaria lancifolia L.
Lanceleaf Arrowhead, Duck-potato, Bulltongue Arrowhead, Bull-tongue Arrowhead
Alismataceae (Water-Plantain Family)
USDA Symbol: SALA
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N)
This perennial arises with basal leaves to 3-6 feet tall from tuber-producing rhizomes. The leaves have long petioles and arrowhead shaped leaf blades to 10 inches long. Submerged leaves are lance-shaped or even bladeless. The ½ to 1 inch wide 3 petaled white flowers appear in late spring and summer.
Members of the Water-Plantain Family grow in water, in swamps, on muddy banks, or occasionally in wet sand. Each plant has long-petioled leaves in a clump with a flowering stem rising among them. The flowers have 3 green sepals, 3 white or pink-tinged petals, 6 or more stamens, and several pistils. Stamens and pistils may be in separate flowers.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Cuneate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Flower: Sepals 3
Fruit: To 2.5 mm
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: White, rarely pink tinged.
DistributionUSA: AL , DE , FL , GA , LA , MD , MS , NC , OK , SC , TX , VA
Native Habitat: This is the most common arrowhead of eastern North America. It grows at low elevations in shallow water on the fringe of ponds, lakes, streams and wet ditches.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Conditions Comments: Arrowheads are reliable perennials used for water gardens. In nature, they are emergent aquatic plants that grow on the margins of ponds and slow moving streams. They should be planted no deeper that 12" in a water garden in a full sun location.
BenefitUse Food: Called Duck Potato or Wapato because of its edible egg-shaped rhizomes. Native Americans cleared ponds of competing plants to locate and harvest the tubers in fall. The tubers were stored and cooked as needed, providing an excellent source of carbohydrates.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1991 VOL. 8, NO.3 - Native Plants Provide a Wealth of Foods and Fibers, Letter from the President, A...
Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sagittaria lancifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sagittaria lancifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sagittaria lancifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: JSC