Popcorn from the pond

Indian pond lily

Rumor has it that Native American people roasted the starchy roots of this particular species of water-lily, peeled them, and ate them in a stew-like soup.  If not roasted or boiled, they ground them into flour.   However, Nuphar polysepalym grows in four to five feet of water, so harvesting the roots required the difficult task of diving, and thus, the highly edible plant became a prized commodity, and their stashes often prone to raids from neighboring tribes.

Indian Pond Lilies growing in a shallow pond

The huge, smooth, green leaves float on ponds and shallow lakes, ranging from northern Alaska southward to New Mexico, and produce a beautiful, brilliant yellow, waxy-looking flower, sometimes up to five inches across. Seeds placed in a pan, and set over heat, swell and pop like popcorn.

Medicinal uses ranged from baking the root stock to poultice ulcerated skin, to grinding the root stocks, boiling them and adding to bath water, which worked well to relieve rheumatism.

Sell Art Online

Enjoy more prints of nature photos

suggested reading:
A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers: Washington, Oregon, California and adjacent areas
Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West (Outdoor and Nature)

About © Rita Boehm

Copyright 2015 Rita Boehm. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Photographs, artwork, and/or related text are available for licensing. Contact writer for further information
This entry was posted in Coeur d'Alene, history, Idaho, Inland Northwest, Pacific Northwest, photography, travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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