Herb: Marsh Arrow Grass

Latin name: Triglochin palustris

Family: Juncaginaceae (Arrow-grass Family)

Edible parts of Marsh Arrow Grass:

The white base of the leaf stem can be eaten raw or cooked. An unpleasant odour is produced in the cooking process but the flavour of the stems is sweet. The green parts of the plant should not be eaten since they can contain a toxin. See notes at top of the page. Seed - parched and ground into a powder. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Marshes, usually amongst tall grass.

Propagation of Marsh Arrow Grass:

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Stand the pots in about 2cm of water. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Marshes, usually amongst tall grass.

Medicinal use of Marsh Arrow Grass:

None known

Known hazards of Triglochin palustris:

The green leaves of plants can contain a toxic cyanogenic glycoside, it is especially present during and just after a drought and is particularly toxic to ruminants. Plants growing in Britain are usually perfectly safe, this is probably due to the climate.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.