Timing: generally December - March. In late summer, green flower spikes appear and can be eaten like corn on the cob. TCM uses cattail pollen mixed with honey as a poultice for wounds. Fermented Cattail Shoots are such a treat! If you go barefoot, it might be a bit cold. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. X She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. It tastes like … I suspect that you wouldn't be able to get this yield the same year they're planted. Native Americans used crushed rhizomes as a poultice to treat burns, cuts, sores, etc. However, you could spray them with aerosol hair spray or any other type of setting spray (which you can find in craft stores) and that should prevent this from happening. Take the dried leaves and … This is also edible and can be used for thickening soups, as well as being an analgesic and antiseptic medicinal. So much so that it can make the difference between life and death if lost in the wilderness or when food is in short supply. Rupu Gel. These can be explored to obtain the Rupu Gel which is a very useful resource. Now, very little research has been done on cattails as a crop, and those results were from harvesting the roots in established bogs. On a different note, this gel is the only part of the cattail that is widely considered to be inedible. It’s not poisonous…so why? Cattail harvesting can be as simple as picking one right off the plant in summer. On a different note, this gel is the only part of the cattail that is widely considered to be inedible. Supposedly, the United States considered using cattails to feed our men overseas because harvesting cattails can produce more starch per acre than any other green plant. So, lets start with spring Cattails and work through all the seasons. ", Now if you could only have included a section about what part of the cattail is edible...", http://www.ediblewildfood.com/cattail.aspx, http://www.eattheweeds.com/cattails-a-survival-dinner/, http://www.offthegridnews.com/extreme-survival/cattails-how-to-safely-harvest-and-eat-natures-4-seasons-survival-plant/, https://holeinthefence.net/tag/edible-parts-of-a-cattail/, http://www.wolfcollege.com/the-most-important-plant-cattails-video-of-finding-harvesting-transplanting-cooking-cattails/, https://cleantechnica.com/2009/05/16/cattail-army-deployed-to-fight-water-pollution/, http://tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-eat-cattail.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. After pulling the core out, peel and discard the outermost layer of leaves until you reach the edible part, which will be soft enough to pinch with your fingernail. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. Also, 2 Rare Flowers are needed for cooking the Battle Tartare and 20 are needed for Mindwipe Tonicdishes. By tugging with firm, even, pressure, you can coax the leaf to slide out of its holster. The heads provide puffy wool-like material that can be used for insulation of clothing, mattresses and padding when sleeping out in the woods. I applied the gel to her burn and there was a substantial relief in her pain very quickly. Ticks and leaches are a concern in some areas and seasons. You can use the gel in bread making and soups. Go ahead and nibble at the tender, white base. Pull straight up so you get the whole plant. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. A risk of going barefoot is cutting your feet on bottles, rocks or other sharp objects. Harvesting Cattails. I didn't know any of the facts about how you can use. Well, because it has a numbing effect on moist tissues and has been used as an anesthetic by the pioneers. The leaves, when cut, dried and resoaked, can be used for mats, baskets, hats or ponchos. Virtually all parts of the cattail plant are edible at some point of the year. Habitats include wet thickets, swamps, ditches, moist fields and other wetlands. Make sure to harvest ethically from a clean water source) Research source Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Use your sickle to harvest the Cattails and you should get around 4 per swing. Well, because it has a numbing effect on moist tissues and has been used as an anesthetic by the pioneers. By using our site, you agree to our. The leaves can be used for salads, the stems can be boiled and the flowers can be roasted. The experience of wild edibles connects you to nature in a very powerful way. After the small bits of root sit in the water for at least five minutes, the starch will settle to the bottom. Always ask for permission before harvesting cattail on someone's private property. You will notice when you’re picking the shoots and peeling off the layers that there is a gelatinous substance. Carefully and slowly pour off the water. Easiest way to find Cattails is to go where you see last years stalks standing. (the white pith of the cattail shoot is edible, similar to hearts of palm. The jelly-like substances that you can find in between young leaves are used on wounds and other areas of the body where foreign agents, pathogens, or microbes might do damage in order to protect our system. This article has been viewed 11,416 times. Break open a cattail leaf, as you would the leaf of an aloe plant, and use the cool gel inside as a natural antiseptic cream. If it is tick season, you should definitely avoid going barefoot. I usually wait til March and try to wait until the buds are at thier most resinous. Cattail Leaves. Cattail. It asks you to slow down from the rushed pace of the modern world and step into timelessness. Chinese researchers are investigating cattail pollen’s reputation for shrinking cancerous tumors. connection have happened while harvesting cattail roots and picking nettle leaves. For example, some leaves change in size, color, and texture over the course of a growing season. The reason is that it bio-accumulates toxins, which is why you will see it planted in bio-swales, or ponds which are designed to accumulate run-off from developments. Kimmerer writes, “The cattails make the gel as a defense against microbes and to keep the leaf bases moist when water levels drop.” If you are starting from scratch then remember the look-a-like rule? Don’t eat cattails that are collected from bioswales. There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Last Updated: November 2, 2020 But even having to grow them on a patch for two years, that's still the equivalent of 73 pounds per 100 sq ft per year. To increase your harvest, find a larger stand of cattails. Cattail’s biggest claim to ‘almost’ fame came toward the end of World War Two according to legend. Before ingesting ANY herb or plant from the wild, please ensure you correctly identify it or consult a professional wild plant harvester for advice. X Sign up for our newsletter. References. To harvest starch from a cattail plant, clean the exterior roots and then mince or crush them, before putting them in clean water. Avoid harvesting from patches that are being threatened by invasive plants like Phragmites. Our best recipe was to boil it down until it got about like porridge and then add pollen, if in season, until it got thick, about like biscuit dough. [2] Cattail plants produce the gel to protect themselves against microbes and to keep themselves moist during droughts. In late summer, the green flower heads can be eaten like corn on the cob. Many cattail are interconnected by the roots, so bring a crappy knife with you to cut them. In addition to harvesting cattails for food, they have many other uses. A clear gel is found between the tightly bound leaves of cattail. In my experience, yes. If you cook it, it tastes like corn. Winter. When they were hit with a ravaging toothache, they would just go get their jar of cattail ooze and rub it around their gums. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. The roots are edible, but require separating the starch from the fibers to make them edible. Read on to learn more about what cattails are used for. Rare Flowers can be used to craft Re-Fertilizer, Lesser Antidote and Exceptional Kibble. When they were hit with a ravaging toothache, they would just go get their jar of cattail ooze and rub it around their gums. 1 Materials 1.1 A 1.2 B 1.3 C 1.4 E 1.5 F 1.6 G 1.7 H 1.8 I 1.9 M 1.10 N 1.11 O 1.12 P 1.13 R 1.14 S 1.15 T 1.16 W These pages are for crafting materials for any recipe. To harvest leaves from a Palm tree simply hit it with a Hatchet or an Axe. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 11,416 times. Rupu Camps will often have these vine-like bushes that can be harvested with your hands, sickle or a scythe. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. The lower part of the stem is white and, when eaten raw, tastes like cucumber. Cattails are often planted in order to help clean the contaminated water from the development. Cattail: Learn How to Harvest and Utilize This Wild Aquatic Plant During the Best and Worst of Times One of the most common wild plants found throughout the world, cattail is astoundingly versatile. They are extremely productive in terms of flour production, with one acre of cattails potentially producing 6,475 pounds of flour. Yes, those distinctive plants growing alongside the water’s edge can easily be harvested, providing a source of vitamins and starch to your diet all year round. When harvesting the buds I put them directly in to a mason jar. Harvesting by hand will get you one. The gel found within the leaves can be used medicinally as a topical anesthetic. If you are harvesting the cattails to make rope, however, it is fine to collect them from these areas. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Cattail pollen capsules, known as Pu Huang, are a popular remedy for nosebleeds, uterine bleeding and blood in the urine. The cattail plant grows spikes, flowers, and pollen in the spring. Just squish or paddle up next to a cluster of cattail leaves, and grasp the center leaf as close to the base as possible. The Rare Flower's side effect will even lure skittish dinos like the Phiomia or Tapejara; which can make s… Cattail is popular due to its natural antiseptic property, which has come in handy for numerous cultures for generations. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Alas, though, the war ended before the concept was proven or implemented. This article has been viewed 11,416 times. Autumn - The root of cattail can now be harvested. This common grass is very easily identified in nature and its benefits as a food and more are numerous to everyone from a day hiker to a wilderness survivor. Cattails (Typha) are one of the best survival foods. You will want to use both hands to separate the outer leaves from the core. There is a gel-like substance that you get when breaking off the leaves or the roots, and you can use that for tooth aches. The Typha genus, which is in its own family and order, has its closest relative as the sedge order which includes grasses, which I discussed in Part 1 of this essay. % of people told us that this article helped them. Did you know wild cattails were edible? Harvesting cattail leaves for mats: you can weave or sew fresh leaves, but when they dry out, you are left with a shrunken, loose mat. Next time you pass some of those wild cattails blowing in the wind, remember all of the things cattails are used for and how easy harvesting wild cattails can be. Ahead and nibble at the bottom, flowers, and pollen in spring. The gel in bread making and soups in them it, it is fine collect... Stages of development this is also edible and can be used as an anesthetic by the roots are edible some... 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