Natural Object: Water Chestnut

This is the fruit of the European water chestnut, Trapa natans. Also known commonly as devil pods, they float and can be found up and down the Hudson and less frequently on area beaches. The plant is a fast spreading invasive. They have been used for food and medicinal purpose in Europe for 5000 years or more. Strangely, they are becoming rarer and rare there, while flourishing here.

6 Responses to “Natural Object: Water Chestnut”


  1. 1 Elizabeth White May 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

    here’s an interesting article on the Water Chestnut:

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/invasivetutorial/water_chestnut.htm

  2. 2 ron P. swegman May 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Great post; I have found some remarkably symmetrical European water chestnut pods. The color and texture both remind me of medieval woodwork.

  3. 3 floyd June 23, 2013 at 6:37 am

    when I found my first ever water chestnut pod on the shore of Lake Ontario in New York, I thought it was a piece of plastic from a kids toy like a transformer or space alien!!! At least now I know what they are!!!

  4. 4 Linda Seaman January 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Mom found these along the Rappahannock River, Virginia, in 1944 and strung them as a one of the main decorations on my first Christmas tree. Pop was stationed at Quantico at the time. I still have the string of them as I celebrate my 73rd birthday in 2017!


  1. 1 Two Invasives « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on November 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

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