Monday, July 14, 2008

CATTAILS...I GOT LOTS OF CATTAILS




















I started not to put this pic on, or you might think I never cut my grass, but this is on the backside of our property and it is always a little wet back there. I have Bamboo and cattails growing together happily. I just found out they are edible. That is good to know with prices going higher and higher for food. Who knows? They might keep us from starving some day but if they don't, they sure are great little plants to grow. I love every stage of their growth. Here is what Wiki has to say about them:

"Cattail has a wide variety of parts that are edible to humans. The rhizomes are a pleasant, nutritious and energy-rich food source, generally harvested from late Fall to early Spring. These are starchy, but also fibrous, so the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. In addition to the rhizomes, cattails have little-known, underground, lateral stems that are quite tasty. In late spring, the bases of the leaves, while they are young and tender, can be eaten raw or cooked. As the flower spike is developing in early summer, it can be broken off and eaten, and in mid-summer, once the flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener".

So, while you are laying in those emergency supplies for hard times. why not plant these and enjoy their looks now and eat them later. : ) or you might want to use them as stuffing...no, not to eat,, for a pillow or vest or baby pack..


The disintegrating heads are used by some birds to line their nests. The downy material was also used by Native Americans as tinder for starting fires.

Native American tribes also used cattail down to line moccasins and papoose boards. An Indian name for cattail meant, “fruit for papoose’s bed”. Today some people still use cattail down to stuff clothing items and pillows.

The down has also been used to fill life vests in the same manner as kapok.

If using the cattail for pillow stuffing you may be wise to use thick batting material, as the fluff may cause a reaction similar to hives and will be very itchy.


Now how is that for a plant that earns its keep? A soft place to lay your weary head and ......A supermarket on a stick!

12 comments:

this is my patch said...

I didn't know you could eat them. We call them bulrushes over here in the UK. x

Eve said...

That struck a chord and I looked it up. It was bulrushes that the baby Moses bed was made from as he floated down the river to be plucked out by the Egyptian princess...according to the bible. Apparently they dried and plaited it.

Doris said...

There so pretty. I didn't know you could eat them either, but I sure would love to have some. They would look real nice planted beside my soon to be built bridge.

Jean said...

One of my favorite things to do as a teenager was to make the heads fluff and float away. I wish I could grow them. They are pretty.

DP Nguyen said...

Oh wow, what an interesting plant.

cindee said...

Cattails just say "Summer" to me!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Mother Nature said...

Eve,
I've been exploring your wonderful blogs.
If we are ever stranded in the wilderness, we know where to get a snack. Cattail cafe.:)
Donna

Balisha said...

Hi Eve,
Thanks for reading my blog this morning. I will take the time later today to read what you write.
Cattails always remind me of the beginning of the season to start doing crafts. We had craft shows in my home to sell my paintings, and we always picked bouquets of dried flowers...cattails included...to sell. I would almost drive off the road, when I found them. Got into a real mess sometimes with mud and water, but I always got the bouquet. Thanks again. Balisha

Skeeter said...

I did not know Cat Tails were so versatile! A good plant to have around. I like the way they look in marshy type areas. Even in this drought, I have seen them flourishing in spots around town...

As kids when we would find them, we would run with them held up high to release the pretty fluff. Ah, the days of innocent fun. Thanks for the memory...

Baker Watson said...

Hey eve.

We were just talking about cattails a few days and how we have to addd some more to our pond. At one time there was a good stand of them there, but I think they were overtaken by some other plants when the water level changed and now we only have a very few plants left. I'm going to look into getting some more and see if we can get them established again.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. And don't worry about the turtle, lol. For him it was just like any other day.

The Camo said...

Hey that's cool. I'm doing a Cattail report so that helped. Thanks.

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