Arrowroot (Maranta and Sagittaria species)

Arrowroot aquatic plantThe arrowroot is an aquatic plant with arrow-shaped leaves and potatolike tubers in the mud.  The Sagittaria species is sometimes referred to as Arrowhead, Katnisss, Swan Potato, Tule Potato, or Duck Potato.  The Maranta species is about two feet high with small white flowers and fruits.  The rootstocks are typically dug out when the plant is a year old and often exceed 1 foot in length. The roots are yellowish, white, jointed, and covered with loose scales (that are edible but should be removed because they taste really bad).

Arrowroot aquatic plant with arrow-like leavesWhere to Find: Arrowroot is found worldwide in temperate zones and the tropics. It is found in moist to wet habitats.

Edible Parts: The rootstock is a rich source of high quality starch (Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch). Wash the roots and clean off the paper-like scales (the scales taste bad).  Boil the rootstock and eat it as a vegetable.  It can also be used as a cooking thickener for soups.

Arrowroot plant leaves

Arrowroot leaves

A long arrowroot tuber

Arrowroot leaves

Arrowroot tubers or roots

Arrowroot leaves

Arrowroot drawing of plant components

Arrowroot flowers

An arrowroot tuber