by Renee Brecht
||Britton and Brown. See
|| Orontium aquaticum
grows from stout rhizomes in the mud of shallow waters. Its leaves are
usually out of the water, but often are floating.
Golden club has dark green, velvety leaves, which have a water
repellant surface. Leaves are two to four inches wide and six to 12
inches long. They are oblong-eliptic. Leaves grow in groups and emerge
from the water on stalks.
||tiny flowers clustered on a 1-2 inch
pond edges; in silty, muddy, or peaty soil
||Northern and Middle districts,
locally; plentiful in the Pine Barrens, casual in the Cape May
|Heritage ranking if any:
lists as an obligate wetland species: Occurs almost always (estimated
probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.
It is the only member of the arum family that does not have a spathe.
Seeds of O.
aquaticum were either
boiled repeatedly in water before being eaten by Native Americans;
Swedish settlers also used the seeds in a similar manner (P. Kalm
1770--1771). Fresh seeds microwaved for 5 minutes in tap water have a
"firm texture and pleasant, nutty flavor" and produce no irritation (L.
H. Klotz 1992). (eflora.org)
Stone (1911) says "The Golden Club is one of the attractions in the
Pine Barrens in springtime, when the surface of the pools bristle with
its brilliant, slender, orange-yellow spikes bordered below with white
where they join the green stalks, and later we find the floating leaves
with their peculiar velvety upper surface from which the water rolls
off as from the proverbial duck's back".
after a plant found on the river Orontes
in Syria. Also the name of the god of the river. Aquaticum, meaning lives in
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