Frog bit - edible?

Asked April 23, 2018, 11:39 AM EDT

Is European frog bit edible or is it poisonous

Alpena County Michigan

5 Responses

European frogbit is an invasive species in Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/invasives/0,5664,7-324-68002_71240_73848-364817--,00.html
Report this species to:

DEQ Aquatic Invasive Species Program DEQ-WRD-ANC@michigan.gov 517-284-5593

If possible, please take one or more photos of the invasive species you are reporting. Also make note of the location, date and time of the observation. This will aid in verification of your report. You may be asked to provide your name and contact information if follow-up is needed.

- Or - use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone - http://www.misin.msu.edu/tools/ap

I have no problem identifying European frog bit. I've worked several years on projects run by Huron Pines to eradicate it from the Thunder Bay River at Alpena. MY QUESTION had NOTHING to do with ID-ing the plant. I only want to know if it is edible (not necessarily palatable) or is it poisonous?

It is readily eaten by grass or amur
carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella Val.), ducks and other water
birds, rodents, and water snails, and is a food plant for
numerous insects (Bernatowicz and Wolny 1969; Catling
and Dore 1982; Catling and Spicer, personal observation).
In Europe it is reported to be eaten by beavers (Castor fiber)
and a Russian study found that chemical elements in the plants did not reach toxic levels (Sviridenko et al. 1988), but
toxicity could depend on the extent of water pollution. In
association with other aquatic vegetation it provides cover
for insects and fish (Nichols and Shaw 1986). Unlike the situation
in North America, where community dominance may
be permitted by escape from pathogens and predators, H.
morsus-ranae has declined or is extirpated in parts of its
European range and is a conservation concern for reintroduction.
In the UK, it has declined in natural habitats but has
been reported in canals well outside its native range (Preston
and Croft 1997).
Material of Hydrocharis morsus-ranae collected in early
June had crude protein levels of 22–24%, suggesting a potential
value as a forage and compost. Along with other aquatics,
it may have a potential for use in removal of nitrogen and
phosphorus from waste water (Reddy 1984), and in the general
protection of water quality (e.g., Karpati et al. 1985).

Sorry - I guess I was a bit nebulous about my question. My concern is whether European frog bit is edible for humans - not necessarily palatable. I love to garden and cook; I am involved with helping to eradicate frog bit in Alpena in the Thunder Bay River. And I was wondering if instead of just consigning the pulled-out frog bit to the city compost heap, it could become food of some kind for people.

I've searched numerous places and can not find any reference for human consumption. The following links may assist you. Perhaps contact a botanist at MSU.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/media-page/eat-the-weeds-on-dvd/

https://plantbiology.natsci.msu.edu/

http://www.adkwatershed.org/files/hydrocharis_morsus_ranae01.pdf