The water chestnut has never really been domesticated, and instead acts as an invasive species over much of the northeastern united states. While it is kept in check by insects in its native Asia and Europes, its much like kudzu here, and very difficult to kill.
I hope this helped!
Actually the previous answer is mistaken. The plant detailed there isn’t the water chestnut (it is actually the root of a different plant, the trata natans) that we cultivate for food and sell in stores, the eleocharis dulcis. It was first cultivated in south east tropical Asia, mainly China, where it is still a large part of their diet today. No one knows for sure when it was first cultivated, as even ancient recipes use it. We can assume, therefore, that it has been used there for thousands of years or more. It has also spread to other areas, like Japan, Thailand and tropical Africa.
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