Arrow-heads or Sagittarias are among our most beautiful water plants. The leaves vary greatly in shape but are always graceful in appearance. All species have three pure white petals with a golden center formed by the large anthers. The following are the most distinctive of the twelve species now recognized in Gray's Botany. They usually grow in the water but sometimes on the muddy shores, and flower in June or July. Except as noted, these species are common in the U. S. and southern Canada.
A. Broad-leaved Arrow-head.
B. Narrow- leaved Arrow-head.
Broad-Leaved Arrow-Head (Sagittaria Latifolia)has broad arrow-shaped leaves on long petioles from the root. The 3-petalled white flowers grow in whorls of three, the upper ones being staminate and the lower pistillate. Seed, winged on both edges and with a twisted horizontal beak. This species is smooth but a variety, ( pubescens) has the stem quite wooly. Common in the whole of our range.
Narrow-Leaved Arrow-Head (S. Engelmanniana)has very narrow leaves with linear sagittate bases. The seeds are winged but the beak points upwards instead of being bent at an angle as in the last.
Lance-Leaved Sagittaria (S. Heterophylla)has lance-shaped leaves with usually no sagittate appendages to the bases. The seed is round, winged and with a vertical beak. This species is found from Me. to Minn, and southwards.
Grass-Leaved Sagittaria (S. Gracillima)has linear, grass-like leaves and grows wholly under water. In July a long slender flowering stem reaches to the surface and floats the small, 3-petalled white flowers. Pound locally in the East. Used extensively in aquaria as it is an excellent oxygen giver.