Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Sagittaria latifolia
common arrowhead, duck potato, wapato

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades in Washington; Vancouver Island, British Columbia to central California; central North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Ditches, ponds, lakes, swampy areas.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Generalist


Aquatic, scapose, tuber-bearing perennials from strong rhizomes, the scapes up to 5 dm. long.


Leaves mostly emersed, but often submerged and the blades floating; blades sagittate or hastate, up to 2.5 dm. long and nearly as broad; submerged leaves sometimes bladeless and greatly elongate, 4-10 mm. broad.


Flowers in 2-8 whorles of 3 in bracteate racemes, the bracts 5-10 mm. long, blunt, hooded; pedicles 1-5 cm. long, ascending, in both the pistillate flowers (lower whorles) and staminate flowers.(upper whorles), or the plants sometimes monoecious; sepals 3, 5-10 mm. long, persistent; petals 3, white, twice as long as the sepals; stamens more than 20; pistils many on a globose receptacle.


Achenes 2.5-4 mm. long, winged, with a stylar beak strongly up-turned, 0.5-1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Sagittaria latifolia Willd.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 4(1): 409. 1805.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Sagittaria esculenta Howell
Sagittaria latifolia Willd. var. obtusa (Muhl.) Wiegand
Sagittaria latifolia Willd. var. pubescens (Engelm.) J.G. Sm.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sagittaria latifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Sagittaria latifolia checklist entry

OregonFlora: Sagittaria latifolia information

E-Flora BC: Sagittaria latifolia atlas page

CalPhotos: Sagittaria latifolia photos

30 photographs:
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