Herb: Water Chestnut
Latin name: Trapa natans
Family: Trapaceae (Water Chestnut Family)
Edible parts of Water Chestnut:Seed - raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder. A sweet floury and agreeable flavour, similar to sweet chestnuts (Castanea spp). The seed contains up to 50% starch according to one report, 16% starch, 3% protein in another report and 15% protein, 7.5% fat in a third. (Are all these reports talking about the same thing?). One report says that the raw nut contains toxins that are destroyed by cooking the seed.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Water up to 60cm deep.
Propagation of Water Chestnut:Seed - harvest in late summer and store overwinter in a jar of water in a cold but frost-free place. The seed quickly loses its vitality if it is allowed to become dry. Sow in spring, placing one seed in each pot and submerging them under a few centimetres of water.
Cultivation of the herb:Water up to 60cm deep.
Medicinal use of Water Chestnut:None known
Known hazards of Trapa natans:The raw seed contains toxins but that these are destroyed in the cooking process.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.