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Sea Arrowgrass Triglochin maritima Edibility and Identification

How To Safely Eat Sea Arrowgrass

 

What we are looking at here is a plant called Sea Arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima). It’s common names are coriander grass or wild coriander, because it actually tastes just like coriander.

The bits that we are looking for are the very young flower shoots coming through with the flower buds.

Then as we go to the base what we have are the very long leaves. But the bits we need to be eating are the pale bits down at the base of the plant.

As soon as we start moving up the plant into the dark green parts of the leaves the plant starts developing hydrocyanic acid which basically means its cyanide which interferes with the oxygen uptake in your body.

So when someone has cyanide poisoning you need to keep them hyperventilated and on oxygen. That’s how you counteract the cyanide poisoning.

Don’t let that scare you off!

It’s the pale white/green ends of the Sea Arrowgrass leaves that we find at the base going into the earth that are edible. About 2 inches in length.

When you crush those base tips, they smell distinctly of coriander. Once the leaves become dark green, that’s where the hydrocyanic acid starts developing.

You can also eat the seeds of Sea Arrowgrass. Traditionally the Native Americans would either dry or roast them, then grind them into a flour.

The whole seeds are delicious and taste like coriander pops bursting in your mouth.

Sea Arrowgrass is an absolutely extraordinary plant!

Photo credit: “Triglochin maritima” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Oskar Gran

About the Author Robin Harford

Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.

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2 comments
PAM says

Loved the short video on Arrowgrass. So well explained and what to look for. Thanks Robin xx

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danielle says

Robin…thank U for sharing your valuable knowledge. Wouldn’t it be “lov-er-ly” if we were all taught these things in school? But then….how would all the big food chains…make all their dollars?!

Take care.
Danielle
Colorado
USA

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