Katniss (sagittaria sagittifolia) is an aquatic plant that grows around District 12. Katniss is found in the Meadow, the Woods, and other parts of District 12. It is also the plant that Katniss Everdeen was named after.
- "Some people call them swamp potatoes, but I like katniss better. Has a nice ring to it."
- ―Lucy Gray Baird to Coriolanus Snow[src]
It grows tall, with green leaves like arrow heads and flowers with three white petals. Katniss is known by many names, including sagittaria, arrowhead, duck potato, swan potato, tule potato, and wapato(o). Many are found in North and South America, but some are also native to parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.
Katniss Everdeen was named by her father after this plant. When Katniss was almost twelve years old, and first began to hunt and gather in the woods, the two would go to the lake to shoot waterfowl and collect katniss roots. Katniss was one of the first foods she found while hunting. It was also part of her last meal with Gale Hawthorne before leaving for the Capitol.
Katniss finds this plant again, while wading in a stream after her father dies, and remembers her father said, "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve." She picks this plant and feeds her family off of it until she can find something better to feed them.
Clerk Carmine brought Lucy Gray Baird some katniss, but she examined it and deemed it to be too early in the season to eat it. She told Coriolanus Snow that in a few weeks, it would produce decent-sized potatoes, which could be roasted and eaten. Later, she slipped away from Snow when the two were supposedly escaping together, claiming that she was going to go dig up some katniss.
The katniss plant is also known as "arrowhead", so her name may be interpreted as a reference to her skills in archery. On the other hand, it is both ornamental and useful, parallel to Katniss' varying roles in the Capitol and District 12. Also, if you find Katniss you will live. This could also be interpreted as symbolism.
- Katniss is a real plant in real life, though often called an arrowhead. Most species of katniss have arrow-shaped leaves, but a few have long ribbon-like leaves.