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Katniss plant

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"As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve."
Mr. Everdeen joking with his daughter Katniss Everdeen about her namesake.[src]

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]

The plant 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.


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.[1] Two weeks later, she slipped away from Snow when the two were supposedly escaping together, claiming that she was going to go dig up some katniss, which would be ready by that time.[2]

Katniss Everdeen was named after this plant by her father. 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.[3]

Katniss found this plant again while wading in a stream after her father died, and remembered her father saying, "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve." She picked this plant and fed her family off of it until she could find something better to feed them.[4]


The katniss plant is also known as "arrowhead", so Katniss' name may be interpreted as a reference to her skills in archery. It is also both ornamental and edible, parallel to Katniss' varying roles in the Capitol and District 12, and if you find katniss you will live.


  • 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.


  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 27
  2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 30
  3. Catching Fire, Chapter 3
  4. The Hunger Games, Chapter 4