Herb: Golden Club


Latin name: Orontium aquaticum


Family: Araceae (Arum Family)



Edible parts of Golden Club:

Root - cooked. It must be soaked in cold water for some hours in order to remove an acrid taste. The fresh root contains calcium oxalate and, when eaten raw, will produce an effect on the mouth similar to being pricked with hundreds of small needles. As long as the root is well cooked the calcium oxalate is broken down and the root is perfectly safe to eat. Drying the root also breaks down the calcium oxalate and makes the root safe to eat. The dried roots can also be ground into a powder and used with flour in making bread, biscuits etc. The root is deep seated in the mud and difficult to extract. Seed - dried. The seed must be soaked first in order to remove an acrid taste. Repeated boiling in changes of water are necessary to render the seeds edible. They have a taste like peas.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
April
to May


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy, muddy or peaty shores and in shallow water.

Propagation of Golden Club:

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in submerged containers in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in trays of water in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed develops on the plant underwater in small green berries. Division in spring. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sandy, muddy or peaty shores and in shallow water.

Medicinal use of Golden Club:

None known

Known hazards of Orontium aquaticum:

The plant is rich in calcium oxylate, this is toxic and if consumed makes the mouth and digestive tract feel as though hundreds of needles are being stuck into it. However, calcium oxylate is easily destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.