arrowhead, any plant of the genus Sagittaria, widely distributed marsh or aquatic herbs of the primitive family Alismataceae (water-plantain family). The name derives from the arrowhead-shaped leaves of many species. Native North Americans prepared a potatolike food by roasting or broiling the tubers, particularly of S. latifolia; another species has long been cultivated in China for its starchy root. Arrowheads, which have white, buttercuplike flowers, are often grown in aquariums, ponds, and bog gardens. Arrowheads are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Alismatales, family Alismataceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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