Triglochin – Water Ribbons

Other names: Swamp arrowgrass, Creek lily
Family: Juncaginaceae
Distribution: Within about 300 km of the coasts of Eastern and Northern Australia
Habitat: Freshwater. Common in gently to swiftly flowing clear streams
Uses: Roots (tubers) and fruits are edible, raw or cooked
Season: All year
References: Low, Robinson

These water plants have long slender leaves that vary greatly. Some species (e.g. Triglochin rheophilum, illustrated below) have limp leaves that float on the water, while others have stiff leaves that rise up from the water.

In the past all Triglochin species were classified as Triglochin procera (which was also known as Triglochin procerum), but now eight species are recognised.

The white tuberous roots were baked and eaten by Aboriginies. The small green fruits are also edible. Tim Low says that they were probably an important staple food throughout much of Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *