Skip to main content

Hawaii arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia)

Hawaii arrowhead Synonyms: Sagittaria sagittifolia var. edulis; Sagittaria sagittifolia var. leucopetala; Sagittaria sinensis; Sagittaria trifolia; Sagittaria japonica

Common Names: Chinese arrowhead, giant arrowhead, swamp-potato, old world arrowhead

Description: Currently listed on the Federal Noxious Weed list.

Habit: Herbaceous perennial or rarely annual aquatic herb. Monoecious or sometimes dioecious, it may be anchored beneath the water. Can grow 30-90 cm tall, erect, stoloniferous with milky juice.

Leaves: 3 types produced with longer ribbon-like green leaves growing under the surface of water, distinctive arrow-shaped leaves held above water on triangular stalks, and intermediate floating leaves.

Stems: Smooth and sqaure or triangular shaped.

Flowers: 3 petals with 3 outer sepals. Petals are large and white in color, with a purple blotch at their base. They grow on a distinct stem that rises up from the root of the plant, with between 2-10 whirls of 3 flowers.

Fruit and seeds: Round seed head is a mass of flat achenes. Achenes are 2 mm by 1 mm, enclosed in a wide winged sheath that is 6 mm by 4 mm. Seeds are brown in color, obovate with a thick rim.

Habitat: Native to Europe and Asia. Found in freshwater or brackish waters. Prefers shallow waters.

Reproduction: Vegetatively through stolons and by seed.

Similar species: Other arrowhead species, specifically the Broad-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia).

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand pull small infestations. Aquatic approved herbicides may be useful but a permit is required.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S.D.A APHIS Pest Risk Assessment.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Hawaii arrowhead

Scientific Name:

Sagittaria sagittifolia


(Water plantain)





USDA Symbol: