|DESCRIPTION: A perennia aquatic herb, usually reaching 60-90 cm in height and 40-50 cm in width. It often forms large colonies. The leaves are large and arrow-shaped and flowers violet-blue, packed into dense spikes. USE: The seeds can be eaten raw, cooked like rice, dried or lightly roasted in an oven and ground up and used as a flour substitute. Young leafstalks can be eaten raw or cooked. The whole plant is edible cooked or raw. It can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or added to soups. Grown as an ornamental in water gardens and ponds. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Pickerel weed, Wampee. FURTHER INF: It is found in permanent to seasonal shallow waters about 15-90 cm in depth of streams, ponds or in saturated substrates of marshes, bogs, margins of lakes and streams, and backwaters and margins of these. Found in shallow water on poorly drained soils often with a thick upper organic layer often 1 ˆ several meter thick. It is not very particular to soil type and can grow on rich to medium fertile, fine to coarse textured soils. Native of North America where it is found in all of eastern United States and occasionally escaped from gardens and naturalised in England, Europe and Australia.