Did you know you could eat cattails? This common plant (found in wet areas – swamps, ponds, etc) is one of the best wild edibles. It is easy to identify, very plentiful, and has a large growing range (across the northern hemisphere). Multiple parts of the plant (roots, shoots, immature flowers, pollen) can be harvested for food at various times of the year. These are pictures of harvested cattail shoots that Lonnie picked today. You can eat the shoots raw or cooked. Make sure the water/area is clean if you’re going to harvest some!
Sometimes eating a lot of the raw shoots can be a bit hard on the digestion. When we want to eat a large quantity we will gently sautee them in some butter.
You can see in this photo the cross sections of the shoots and how spongey and fibrous they are. They are really delicious!