Event #96: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am so excited. I got flowers again! On immediate inspection, I don’t recognize them, and I do not know where these came from, but I do know they are not from our yard OR from the creek, and that is also a first. Bob found them on my bedside table when he came home. He put them in the sink to soak up some water, because they had obviously been inside here for the better part of the day. They are kind of beginning to spring back a bit, and I’m going to spend some time now, as late as it is, trying to identify them in one of my wildflower books. These are fascinating. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anything like them. That is why it is so exciting, because I had at least THOUGHT – if not actually verbalized to Bob that it would be really cool if she brought some flowers from her era… perhaps?? But then it turns out that these were not that hard to identify. Now tomorrow, or on the weekend, I will go out to the creek and see if I can find them, because apparently they do come from the area, although I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if they were from right here.

The Arrowhead plant gets its name from the shape of the leaf. This picture I found on the internet.

It is an aquatic plant called (coincidentally) the “arrowhead plant”. Here is a little excerpt from my wildflower book about this “arrowhead plant”. (Curious, isn’t it that she brings something called that – a word we so closely identify with Native Americans).

And from the book:
Arrowhead:  Wapato – This aquatic plant is closely related to Water Plantain. Several similar species with arrowhead-shaped leaves are distinguished from one another by technical features. Beneath the muck, rhizomes produced edible, starchy tubers, utilized by ducks and muskrats and known as “duck potatoes.” Native Americans are said to have opened muskrat houses to get at their cache of tubers.

I also found this on a web site, when I searched that curious word up there “wapato”:
In the fall, the Native Americans sought out the fat arrowhead-shaped leaves of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia), poking out of the mud along pond edges, to harvest the plant’s potato-like tubers called water nuts.
(I wonder if this was something I did?) And below I have included the picture that I took of Nuttah’s sprig of flowers the next morning after they revived in water. It was actually quite a large stalk of a plant, about a foot long:

The Arrowhead or "Wapato" Plant, left for me by Nuttah


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