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Arrowhead vera flowers

Arrowhead is a plant belonging to the Alismataceae family. The family consists of 28 species occurring all over the world. All the species are characterized by the shape of their leaves that resemble arrow points. The leaves are usually pale green, green, or yellowish-green on the top and pale green or yellowish on the lower surface. Both sides of the leaves are glabrous, The plant is a perennial herb growing naturally in ponds, streams, and shallow lakes. The plant creates white flowers with three roundish petals which next turn into achene fruits. The root system consists of long spreading stolons which sometimes produce starchy tubers as well as coarse fibrous roots.

Species native to North America were often the source of food for Native Americans and were known to early settlers as the duck potatoes. Nowadays the plant is used in aquaculture, to improve the condition of ponds and to improve feeding areas for birds. Native to North America and Europe Sagittaria sagitifolia is commonly cultivated in China as a source of food. The plant was also introduced to other continents as an ornamental plant, used to decorate agricultural waterways, streams, and ponds.

The plant grows well in the full or partial sun in shallow deep conditions. It prefers fertile soil containing organic matter. Arrowhead naturally grows in slow-moving or stagnant shallow water. It usually can be spotted in places such as swamps, bogs, seeps, marshes, wet woodlands, on the edge of ponds, slow-moving streams, canals, and deep ditches. It is quite resistant to pollution but prefers higher quality wetlands. Due to its intensive spreading the plant was marked as an invasive species.

Thanks to its flowers, Arrowhead attracts a vast variety of small insects such as bumblebees, honeybees, wasps, various species of butterflies, and many kinds of beetles. The insects cross-pollinate the flowers or feed on leaves, stems, roots, and other parts of the plant. Arrowhead’s fruit is also a source of food for various vertebrate animals such as for example ducks or muskrats.

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