Water Chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis) are an aquatic grass-like sedge in the Cyperaceae family. The plants grow from submerged edible corms which send out underwater stolons to create more corms over the course of the growing season. Water chestnuts are a tropical plant native to SE Asia, Australia and parts of Africa. They need a long hot growing season for a successful harvest. Water chestnuts are best known as a peeled, sliced and canned project added to Asian dishes. Unsurprisingly the fresh product is a whole different experience!
The Utopian Seed Project was inspired to start working with water chestnuts after board member, Yanna Fishman, produced a small harvest from a shrivelled water chestnut that had been gifted to her in 2018. In 2019 we request the six varieties that USDA GRIN hold in their genebank and received 6 corms for each of the varieties. We spread these between three different growing locations with the simple aim of learning how they grow and increasing our own seed stock. Read the 2019 Water Chestnut Report HERE.