Water Shield (Brasenia schreberi)

Perennial
B. peltata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Water Shield
Brasenia schreberi
Cabombaceae

The plant has phytotoxic properties that allow it to inhibit the growth of other plants nearby and therefore allow it to become dominant. This gives it a potential for the natural control of invasive water weeds[274].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are astringent[240]. They are crushed and applied to abscesses and boils[218], and are also used in the treatment of phthisis and dysentery[240].

    A decoction of the seed is antidotal[218]. It is also used in the treatment of dysentery and to relieve thirst[218].

    The plant is anthelmintic and vulnerary[152, 178, 218]. It is used in the treatment of cancer[218].

  • Edible Use

    The young curled leaf tips, which are coated with a thick transparent mucilage, are eaten as a salad with vinegar, sake and soy sauce, or they added to soups as a thickener[106, 159, 183]. Considered a great delicacy in Japan where they are often bottled and sold in local markets[183]. They are mainly used in the spring[46]. A nutritional analysis is available[218].

    Root – cooked[2, 106, 177]. Peeled then boiled and eaten, they can also be dried and stored for later use or ground into a powder[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – no details have been found for this species. Seeds of many water plants have a short viability if allowed to dry out so it is probably best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse or to store it in water until the spring and to sow then. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Just cover the pots with water and then increase the depth as the plants grow. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200].
A floating plant producing stems up to 2 metres long[266], it should be grown in still lime-free water up to 1.8 metres deep[200]. Prefers a rich soil[200]. A good plant for the water’s edge but it is difficult to establish[1]. The submerged parts of the plant are conspicuously covered in a mucilaginous jelly[274]. Plants are not fully hardy in Britain[56]. According to another report this species requires a minimum winter temperature of 18¡c and can only be grown in aquaria and ponds in heated greenhouses[200].
N. America – Nova Scotia to Manitoba and Nebraska, south to Florida, Texas and Mexico.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.