Old World arrowhead Sagittaria sagittifolia

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Old World arrowhead


Arrowhead, named after the shape of its emergent leaves, is a perennial . Its floating leaves are oval. Flowering stems reach 80cm in height.Flowers are borne on these spikes in July and August. Each is about 3cm across and has three white petalswith purple at the base

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Arrowhead, Swamp Potato, Omodaka, Hawaiian Arrowhead, Duck Potato, Katniss

    • Common names

      Sagittaria japonica, Sagittaria sinensis, Sagittaria sagittifolia var. leucopetala, Sagittaria aginashi, Sagittaria trifolia var. leucopetala, Sagittaria trifolia var. sinensis.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Edible Parts: Arrowhead tubers are edible and can be cooked similar to potatoes.
    • Aesthetic Value: It sports attractive white flowers with purple centers, enhancing the visual appeal of water gardens and ponds.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Provides habitat and food for aquatic wildlife, including ducks and other waterfowl.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilize pond banks and prevent soil erosion.
    • Water Quality: Helps maintain water clarity by outcompeting algae for nutrients in the water.
    • Recreational Fishing: Can improve fish habitat in ponds and lakes, potentially benefiting recreational fishing.
    • Cultural Significance: Known as "arrowhead," it has historical uses among indigenous cultures for food and as a component in traditional crafts.
    • Biodiversity: Supports aquatic biodiversity by providing an environment for various life forms including amphibians and insects.
    • Education and Research: Can be used for educational purposes in botany or ecology studies.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Diuretic: Sagittaria sagittifolia is traditionally used to promote the production of urine, aiding in the flushing of the urinary system.
    • Digestive: The plant has been used to aid digestion and address issues such as dyspepsia and indigestion.
    • Cataplasm: A poultice made from the plant can be applied to wounds and sores to promote healing.
    • Antiscorbutic: The plant is believed to have vitamin C and has been used to prevent or treat scurvy.
    • Demulcent: Sagittaria sagittifolia may have soothing properties that could relieve irritation of the mucous membranes within the respiratory system.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Aquatic Habitat: The Arrowhead plant provides a suitable habitat and protective cover for aquatic wildlife such as small fish and amphibians.
    • Ornamental Pond Plant: Owing to its attractive arrow-shaped leaves and white flowers, Arrowhead is often used as an ornamental plant in garden ponds and water features.
    • Arrow Shaft Material: Historically, some indigenous communities have used the straight stalks of the Arrowhead plant to make shafts for arrows.
    • Wastewater Treatment: Arrowhead plants can be utilized in constructed wetlands and eco-friendly wastewater treatment systems to help remove pollutants from water.
    • Soil Stabilization: With its dense root system, Arrowhead can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion in wetland areas.
    • Cultural Significance: In some cultures, Arrowhead plants hold symbolic meaning and are used in traditional ceremonies.
    • Floral Arrangements: The stems and blooms of Arrowhead are sometimes incorporated into floral decorations and ornamental displays.
    • Photography Subject: The distinctive leaves and flowers of the Arrowhead make it a popular subject for nature and macro photography.
    • Education: Arrowhead plants can be used as an educational tool to teach about aquatic plant biology, ecosystem dynamics, and the importance of wetland conservation.
    • Natural Dye Source: Some parts of the Arrowhead plant may be used in the extraction of natural dyes for coloring fabrics or materials.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Arrowhead Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Arrowhead Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: Due to its clean and crisp white flowers, Sagittaria sagittifolia, commonly known as arrowhead, often symbolizes purity and innocence.
    • Adaptability: As an aquatic plant, the arrowhead can thrive in various wetland habitats, reflecting the idea of adaptability and resilience.
    • Direction: Owing to its arrow-shaped leaves, the arrowhead plant is sometimes used to represent direction, guidance, or the pursuit of goals.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring to summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Arrowhead plant (Sagittaria sagittifolia) should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, usually around once a week, but this can vary based on temperature and humidity. It is crucial to water it thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes. For an Arrowhead plant growing in a pot of about 10 to 12 inches in diameter, you may expect to use approximately 16 to 32 ounces of water each week. Adjust the amount of water during the winter months when the plant is dormant, reducing the frequency to avoid overwatering. Always ensure that the pot allows for good drainage to prevent water from pooling at the bottom, which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Arrowhead plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight, making a location near an east or west-facing window ideal. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little light can result in weak growth and poor flowering. Make sure it receives consistent, diffused light throughout the day for optimal growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Arrowhead plants prefer temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate a minimum temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit but should be kept away from drafts and sudden temperature changes. The ideal temperature range for robust growth is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Arrowhead plant to maintain shape and encourage bushier growth. The best time to prune is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Cut back any leggy or dead stems and remove spent flowers to promote new growth. Pruning every few months, or as needed, can keep the plant looking its best.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Arrowhead requires a rich, loamy soil mix that is consistently moist. For optimal growth, maintain a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Adding peat, compost, or well-rotted manure can enhance fertility and structure.

  • plantRepotting

    Arrowhead typically prefers to be repotted every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil. However, as an aquatic plant, it may be grown in pond settings where repotting isn't necessary.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Arrowhead plants thrive in high humidity conditions typical to their natural wetland habitat, yet they can adapt to regular room humidity when grown indoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Arrowhead in a well-lit spot, keep soil moist, and use a large container.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Arrowhead in wet areas with partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      Arrowhead is suitable for 5-11 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    The Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia) begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in wet soil or shallow water. After germination, the seedling develops into a juvenile plant with submerged leaves. As it matures, the arrowhead produces both floating and emergent arrow-shaped leaves, becoming a rooted aquatic perennial. During the growing season, it forms flowers on stalks that rise above the water surface, which are pollinated by insects, leading to seed production. Once fertilized, the flowers produce fruits that sink to the bottom to release seeds or are dispersed by water currents, completing the reproductive cycle. After seed dispersal, the plant may enter a period of dormancy, particularly in colder climates, with the tuberous rhizomes surviving until the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Propogation: Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia) is often propagated by dividing its tubers, which is a common and straightforward method. The best time to propagate arrowhead by tuber division is in the spring, as the plant emerges from dormancy and the growing conditions promote quick recovery and growth. During division, the tubers are carefully separated from the main plant, ensuring that each division has at least one growth point or "eye." The separated tubers can then be planted directly into the substrate at a depth of around 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters), and should be spaced about 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) apart to allow for adequate growing room. Given proper care and favorable conditions, the new plants will establish and start growing, eventually developing into mature plants with their own tubers.