Katniss is another Indian name of a plant, the root of which they were likewise accustomed to eat,... It grows in low, muddy, and very wet ground. The root is oblong, commonly an inch and a half long, and one inch and a quarter broad in the middle; but some of the roots have been as big as a man's fists. The Indians either boiled this root or roasted it in hot ashes. ... Their katniss is an arrow-head or Sagittaria, and is only a variety of the Swedish arrow-head or Sagittaria sagittifolia, for the plant above the ground is entirely the same, but the root under ground is much greater in the American than in the European. Mr. Osbeck, in his voyage to China, mentions that the Chinese plant a Sagittaria, and eat its roots. This seems undoubtedly to be a variety of this katniss.
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