Water Ribbons (Triglochin procera)

Water Ribbons in a drying creek bed.
Water Ribbons are easier to forage now the rivers are drying out.

Common names: Water Ribbons, Arrowgrass

Taxonomic name: Triglochin procera

Family: Juncaginaceae

Habitat: Creeks. rivers, lakes, dams

Form: Aquatic plant with long, strap-like leaves

Flowering time: Spring

Description and uses:

In early Summer, as the creeks dry out, you will see masses of thick, long ribbon leaves that often have a thick flower or seed head with lots of small green fruits.

Masses of leaves can be found on creek banks as the water dries up.
Masses of leaves can be found on creek banks as the water dries up.

These are Water Ribbons. When the creeks are full, the long leaves float on the water surface. I’ll get some pics of that next Winter, as those I took this year weren’t great.

Water Ribbons are an edible water plant and are easier to get at now than when the water was flowing in the river.

Water Ribbon tubers
Tasty tubers

In the mud of the river, they have masses of tubers such as the ones you see in the pics above. It’s easy to get half a kilogram per plant of these.

They snap easily and are crunchy and starchy, like most fresh tubers. People roast them to get the gest flavour, the locals using coals in the past. That’s the best way, but an oven will do fine

The base of the leaves is soft and tasty.
The bases of the leaves are tasty too

One part that I enjoy fresh while foraging for Water Ribbons is the base of the leaves. This part is soft and not stringy like the same part on other bushfood plants I’ve talked about on this blog.

As you work up the leaf, the taste changes. The while thing isn’t unpleasant, but the bottom few centimetres are best.

Water Ribbon fruits are edible, straight off of the plant.
The fruits are great, straight off of the plant

Also, the fruits are edible. These are at the end of a long, upright stem and are eaten green, straight off of the plant, though leave a few to help the plant spread.