Wapato, Sagittaria latifolia




     All over the U.S. except Nevada (5)


Climate, elevation

     Moist, mild climate; low elevations (2)


Local occurrence (where, how common)

     Often grows in marshes and along shorelines, and on edges of lakes, ponds, and sloughs (1 and 3)

     Most commonly occurring in the vicinity of the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam (1)


Habitat preferences

     Often in mucky soils (1)

     Freshwater marshes


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

     Tolerates inundation up to two feet (4)

     Tolerates turbidity, mild pollution, and pH levels of 5.9 to 8.8 (4)

     Can tolerate fluctuating water levels and prolonged soil saturation (2)

     Can form monotypic stands or be part of a diverse marsh community


Associated species

     Sedges (Carex spp.), Rushes (e.g. Juncus effuses), nodding beggarticks (Bidens cernua), yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) (1)


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

     Seed (4)

     Tubers (4)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

     Collect seeds in fall

     Tubers can be harvested after plant senesces (2)


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

     Plant seeds after collection in pots with mucky soil, and allow to establish in greenhouse (2)

     Tubers can be divided (4)

     Can seed directly on-site

Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

     Silty/mucky soil with high water holding capacity (2)


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

     Tubers (must bury 4 to 6 inches to prevent floating to surface, best done during a dry period that will be followed by inundation) (4)

     Direct seeding (2)

     Established seedlings


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

     Soil must be kept consistently moist, tubers can not survive extended drying (4)

     Waterfowl must be excluded from site, because they graze on tubers (4)


Sources cited

1.      Guard, B. Jennifer. Wetland Plants of Oregon and Washington. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver, B.C. 1995.


2.      Leigh, Michael. Grow Your Own Native Landscape. Native Plant Salvage Project, WSU Cooperative Extension-Thurston County. Revised edition, June 1999.


3.      Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Minisrty of Forest and Lone Pine Publishing. 1994.


4.      Stevens, M. and R. Vanbianchi. 1993. Restoring Wetlands in Washington: A Guidebook for Wetland Restoration, Planning and Implementation. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 93-17, 110 p.


5.     USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


Data compiled by:

Crystal Elliot, 5/10/03