E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Sagittaria latifolia Willd.
Broad-leaved Arrowhead (bird's-eye pearlwort; broadleaf arrowhead; wapato)
Alismataceae (Water-plantain family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2696)

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Distribution of Sagittaria latifolia
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Sagittaria latifolia var. latifolia

Species Information

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Perennial aquatic or semi-aquatic herb from a tuber-producing rhizome; stems 20-50 (90) cm tall.
All basal, blades of the emergent leaves arrowhead-shaped, 5-25 cm long, long-stalked and sheathed at the base, blades of the submerged leaves lanceolate, or linear and essentially bladeless, up to 80 cm long.
Inflorescence an open, bracteate panicle of stalked flowers, the bracts egg-shaped, rounded or hooded at the tips, 5-10 (15) mm long; mature male and female flower stalks of equal length; petals white, 1-2 cm long; sepals 5-8 mm long.
Achenes, numerous in a globular cluster, winged, 2-3.5 mm long, sharp-beaked, the beaks extending at right angles to the body, 0.5-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet ditches, ponds, lakeshores and marshes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in BC south of 56degreeN, absent from Queen Charlotte Islands, N Vancouver Island and adjacent coast; E to PQ, NB and NS and S to ME, PA, NC, FL, MS, TX, NM, AZ and CA; N South America, HI.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Sagittaria latifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 858 1005 1152
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1), IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References