Other Flowers Aid Color Scheme
Arrowhead was called "wapatoo" by the American Indians who ate
the thick rootstocks. The plant is found in all temperate and tropical
regions, and in Asia also the tubers are used as food. All varieties are much
alike, except for size. These plants are frequently known as ribbon grass
along with certain distinct plants of somewhat similar appearance and
The blossoms of arrowhead emit a delicate odor similar to that of
violets and yellow jasmine. The flower, resembling on orange blossom, is
sometimes called bridal wreath, after The Legend of the Bridal Chamber,
from a book of Florida stories by Mrs. Maloy Bainbridge Crist. The
blossom is supposed to carry the same charm as a bride's bouquet and,
according to the legend, a maiden presented with one of those frail, wax-
like flowers, will be married within the year.
Eel grass, or the giant spiral vallisneria, is somewhat similar to
arrowhead and is occasionally confused with it. This family gets its name
from Antonio Vallisneri, an Italian botanist of the early eighteenth century.
The plant is known also as tape grass, or wild celery, because it is reputed to
impart the taste of celery to ducks feeding upon it. The eel grass is a
submerged plant with leaves slightly smaller and lighter than the sagittaria.
It bears small flowers on short stalks near the bottom of the water.