Spatterdock or yellow water lily
Description: This plant has leaves up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) long with a triangular notch at the base. The shape of the leaves is somewhat variable. The plant's yellow flowers are 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) across and develop into bottle-shaped fruits. The fruits are green when ripe.
Habitat and Distribution: These plants grow throughout most of North America. They are found in quiet, shallow (never deeper than 1.8 meters [6 feet]) freshwater.
Edible Parts: All parts of the plant are edible. The fruits contain several dark brown seeds you can parch or roast and then grind into flour. The large rootstock contains starch. Dig it out of the mud, peel off the outside, and boil the flesh. Sometimes the rootstock contains large quantities of a very bitter compound. Boiling the plant in several changes of water may remove the bitterness.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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