More About Bloomin’ Cattails

Depending on your geographic region you may still see cattails in their bloom although in my area it is approaching the end of the season. I was driving down the road last weekend and spotted some cattails along a ditch so I decided to stop and take a closer look.

In a previous article “Bloomin’ Cattails” I described how the male portion containing pollen grows on the top of the stalk and the seed bearing portion that we often associate with “hotdogs” grows below it. Pollen is one of the numerous cattail parts that are edible so I decided to take a sample home to photograph after I shook out some pollen in order to show it’s bright yellow color and volume.

Since that previous article I’ve met folks who have told me that during this time of year you can also eat the seed portion as well, just like you would eat corn-on-the-cob so I had to try it. Sure enough, it was similar to biting off bits of baby-ear corn. It’s a bit chewy and rather bland but that makes it quite palatable to the novice wildcrafter.

I’ve also been told that the seed portion can also be prepared by frying in butter or bacon fat so I guess that will be NEXT on my edibles to-do list. Please leave a comment if you have experience in eating cattail blossoms and share any cooking techniques that you may have used.

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3 thoughts on “More About Bloomin’ Cattails

  1. There is a book called MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. It is a story of a young man who lived in a hollow tree. It describes how he ate the root of the cattails (TUBERS like potatoes) and made flour from roasted acorns.

  2. I remember back East these Cattails grew abundantly along all the creek bed shore lines. We used to cut them about midway up the stalk and they wound up about three feet long at this point and then we would stick them in the sand and light the cattail on the end on fire. They had an odd but not bad smell and that smell along with the smoke the cattail created, seemed to keep the mosquito’s away while we fished the shoreline.

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