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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Broadleaf Arrowhead - Pages 122-123

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Broadleaf Arrowhead (Common Arrowleaf) (Duck Potato)
Sagittaria latifolia

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers water depth of 6-20 inches (Max: 24”/Min: saturated mudflats). Species will tolerate some inundation for relatively short periods.

Wildlife Value

Provides waterfowl and wildlife food. Smaller tubers and seeds are eaten by rails, ducks, and swans, especially canvasback duck, Canada geese, gadwall duck, trumpeter swan, and whistling swan. Tubers and plants are eaten by muskrats, porcupines, beaver, and many others. Also provides habitat for macroinvertebrates and game fish--especially channel catfish, white bass, shiners, and shad. Also provides habitat for frogs, snakes and turtles. May serve as nesting material for black tern. Newly planted rootstock is frequently devoured by Canada geese.


Used in lower shoreline zones.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Seed, tubers, rootstock, and transplants are available from commercial vendors. Rootstock establishment is most common and the easiest method.
  • Fall seeding is recommended to provide cold stratification. Broadcast the seed and cover with a thin layer of soil.
  • Plant tubers 2-3 inches in the ground in the spring. Transplants and tubers are usually planted on 2-6 foot centers and must be protected from depredation. Tubers and seed should be kept in moist to saturated soil conditions. Tubers require a 6 to 8 week cold treatment to break dormancy.
  • Gradually raise the water level as shoots emerge. This species has a rapid rate of spread by runners and tubers.
  • Tubers survive freezing and oxygen depletion.
  • This species has high seedbank longevity.

Broadleaf Arrowhead (Common Arrowleaf) (Duck Potato)
Sagittaria latifolia

Mature Height
Leaves 2-8 inchesBroadleaf Arrowhead (Common Arrowleaf) (Duck Potato)
Inflorescence 4-30 inches

Plant Type
Perennial emergent herb

Indicator Status


Nutrient Load Tolerance

Salt Tolerance

Siltation Tolerance

Flowering Color and Time
July to September

Light Preference
Partial to full sun

Seeding Rate
.12 - .19 lbs/acre

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