Wet, green Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia) leaves burst from a rainwater catchment feature. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of the bright white flowers of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Two species of insects visiting the bright white flowers of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Bright white flowers and arrow-shaped leaf of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Iconic arrow-shaped leaves 0f Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
A close-up of hands holding the edible tubers of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Wapato

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Sagittaria latifolia

  • Size at maturity: 1'-3' tall
  • Canopy layer: groundcover
  • Light requirements: full sun to part sun
  • Moisture requirements: seasonally to perennially wet soil 
  • Special features: edible, culturally significant

Wapato is a colony-forming, aquatic perennial typically found in swamps and ponds. It flaunts showy white and yellow flowers in mid-late summer on stalks up to 3' high. In mud, the rhizomes produce starchy tubers that are an important food source and culturally significant for Native Americans. It is also utilized by 15 different waterbirds and muskrats, which is how it gets a well-earned nickname "duck potatoes".

Photo Credit 1: Nikkie West

Photo Credit 2 & 4: "Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)" by wackybadger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo Credit 3: "Sagittaria latifolia Willd." by urjsa is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo Credit 5: "Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) on Lacreek NWR 01" by USFWS Mountain Prairie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit 6: "arrowhead Sagittaria latifolia" by eric.toensmeier is licensed under CC BY 2.0