Sunday, June 5, 2016

Edible Wild Plants - Cattails

Known as the supermarket of the wild, Cattails, also known as bullrush, are a good source of food for the savvy outdoors-person.  The tubers, fresh shoots, the male portion of the flower and the pollen are all edible.

Winter tuber starch granules are removed by hand from fibers while the fresh spring shoots are cut from the tubers.  Older stems can be peeled back to get soft, white edible pith.  The male hotdog shaped part can be steamed before it becomes fluffy and the pollen from a male section can be shaken into a bag and used as a high protein flour. The nutritious tubers are high in calcium, carbohydrates, iron and potassium.

The fluff is good for fire tinder, bedding and insulation, leaves and stems can be woven into baskets and thatch huts.  Burning the fluff or solid seed head makes smoke that helps repel insects.

For additional information see the following links:

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