This plant’s stems tipped in distinctive arrowhead-shaped leaves rise out of shallow water on the edges of rivers, backwaters, and ponds. Leaf shapes are highly variable with some plants having broad, heart- or arrowhead-shaped leaves and others having much narrower leaves. The flowers have three white petals and occur in whorls of 2-15, with three being average. It is often found in colonies, some of which can be extensive.
The arrowhead’s rhizomes end in a starchy, edible tuber used by both wildlife and historically by Native Americans. Snapping turtles, beavers, muskrats, and up to 15 species of ducks nation-wide feed on the arrowhead tubers, especially during migration.
Other names for arrowhead include "wapato" or "duck potato."