Tuberous roots as large as hens' eggs, were an important article of food among Indians. Roots bitter when raw, but rendered sweet and palatable by boiling. Excellent when cooked with meat. Indians gather them by wading and loosening roots with their feet, when the tubers float up and are gathered. Leaves acrid.
Peltandra Virginica (P. undulata, Arum Virginicum). Swamp or shallow water. Me. and Ont. to Mich., south to Fla, and La. May-June.
Rootstock used by eastern Indians for food, under the name of Taw-ho. Roots very large; acrid when fresh. The method of cooking this root, and that of the Golden Club, is thus described by Captain John Smith in his Historie of Virginia (1624), p. 87: "The chiefe root they haue for food is called Tockawhoughe. It groweth like a flagge in Marishes. In one day a Salvage will gather sufficient for a week. These roots are much of the greatnesse and taste of Potatoes. They vse to cover a great many of them with Oke leaues and Feme, and then cover all with earth in the manner of a Cole-pit [charcoal pit] ; over it, on each side, they continue a great fire 24 houres before they dare eat it. Raw it is no better than poyson, and being roasted, except it be tender and the heat abated, or sliced and dryed in the Sunne, mixed with sorrell and meale or such like, it will prickle and torment the throat ex-treamely, and yet in sommer they vse this ordinarily for bread".