Scout Troop 1657 Helps Transplant Spatterdock


Can little kids dig Spatterdock roots out of the Patuxent River mudflats in near-freezing weather?  If they belong to Troop 1657 of Glenarden, Md. they can!  Our horticulturist, Steve McKindley-Ward led the troop on the weekend of March 27th in transplanting about 135 spatterdock root cuttings from the Patuxent to the Anacostia.

Besides the cold, a big challenge for Steve and the Scouts was a tidal mud flat on the Anacostia that didn’t quite drain!  Everything was “planted by feel” in shallow water, but the job got done, and we’re confident the plants will take root and provide their benefits in no time.

Speaking of benefits, here’s a few fun facts about Spatterdock from the Department of Ecology in Washington State:
Spatterdock “Cow Lily” Nuphar luteum
Humans have put spatterdock to many uses.  Historically many cultures ate the roots cooked fresh in stews or dried and ground into flour for baking. The seeds were gathered by Native Americans and either ground into flour or popped like popcorn.  The leaves and roots also contain tannin which was put to use in dyeing and tanning. 
Medicinally, the leaves were used to stop bleeding, and roots were used in a poultice for cuts, swelling, and other ailments.  The Quinault Tribe believed that some of the roots looked like men, and others like women, so they chose a root appropriate for the patient before using it as a pain remedy.  Most recently spatterdock has been used as an aquarium and water garden plant.

A big thanks to the Scouts and parents of Troop 1657!  We look forward to having them back to help in the future.




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