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Sagittaria latifolia or giant is a perennial aquatic plant native to North America. This variety of aquatic plant produces white or bluish tubers, the size of an egg, edible, from which branch long thin and fleshy stems, of square or triangular section, which bear leaves in the shape of an arrowhead and can grow up to 100 -150 cm; in spring it produces erect stems without leaves that carry a long panicle of flowers with three petals, white with a golden heart. In autumn the leaves turn yellow and dry to reappear in early spring. S. sagittifolia is a European species, with white flowers; S. natane comes from North America, is smaller than the other species, the leaves and flowers float on the surface of the water. In late summer it produces small capsules containing seeds.
The plants of sagittaria latifolia, also called giant, can grow in any place, both in the sun and in the shade, but they certainly prefer sunny areas, where they can receive direct radiation for a few hours a day, so as to grow more abundant and produce greater flowering.
The rhizomes of the giant sagittaria do not fear the cold, therefore they can be left to stay throughout the year. Usually these plants develop along the banks of streams or basins, where the water is shallow. The tubers must therefore be placed on the ground, at a depth equal to the diameter of the tuber itself, in a position where the water does not exceed 10-15 cm of depth. The common garden soil is used, enriched with little peat; in general it does not require special land.
To achieve better growth it is advisable, when new specimens are planted, to prepare a compound mixed of common soil, peat, sand and organic substances, so as to prepare a perfect substrate for the establishment of new seedlings of sagittaria latifolia .
The multiplication of the plants of this particular variety takes place by seed, placing the seeds in a container filled with peat and sand in equally well mixed parts, which must be kept constantly submerged and in a protected place until complete germination; the new plants obtained with the sowing process settle down after two years of cultivation in a container, so as to allow them to assume the necessary strength to take root in the definitive cultivation site.
If desired, this kind of plant can also be reproduced by dividing the tufts or by taking the new tubers that are continually produced, collecting them after the leaves have withered and immediately planting them in the place chosen for their growth.
Giant Sagittaria - Sagittaria latifolia: Pests and diseases
normally these plants are not attacked by pests and diseases, more often the tubers are eaten by animals. It is advisable to proceed with preventive treatments with specific broad-spectrum products in the period preceding vegetative growth and subsequent flowering, so as to provide the necessary protection to plants of this genus, so that they can grow at their best.