Wapato

Secwepemc name: ckwalkwalús, ckwalkwalul’s (lit. “yellowed/jaundiced eye,” from kwel / kwal- “yellow/green”; -us “face/eye”)

wapato Also known as Arrowleaf or “Swamp Potato”. Mary Thomas remembers her grandmother digging the roots out of the mud in the wetlands near Salmon Arm, when she was a child.  She and her brother and sister used to gather up these tubers as their grandmother tossed them onto the bank, and put them into a big basket. The roots were round like marbles and were gathered in baskets to be taken home, steam-cooked, and eaten.

Ecological requirements:  Grows at low to mid elevations at the edges of ponds, marshes, lakes, and slow moving streams.