1. Jen

    I never knew you could eat the cattail plant. I honestly would be scared to do so without directly seeing someone pull it out of the ground, prep it, cook it, eat it, and not get sick. But that’s just me being overly cautious. It’s good to know though. If I’m ever in a desperate situation and see a cattail, I’d probably go for it.

    • Margarita

      Jen, at least now you won’t die from starvation when you are lost and there are cattails around. Even kids would identify them.

  2. Barb

    Hi! Thanks so much for this wonderful article on cat tail salad.

    I have never heard of eating cattails before. I actually live next to a swamp and am surrounded by them. Now that I know they are edible, I’m definitely going to give them a try.

    How do you harvest them? Do you pull out the entire plant or just the center stalk?

    • Margarita


      Thank you for reading.

      Since it’s the end of summer, now the center stalks are too fibrous to eat. The flowers are gone as well. However, you can eat its roots. Or rhizomes, to be biologically correct. They are just stems that grow underground. They give rise to roots and shoots. When you get down to rhizomes you might see the shoots. They are called corms. They will emerge into an actual cattail plant next year. You can eat them as well!

      It’s pretty simple to harvest rhizomes and corms. But you will need to get your hands dirty. What you want to do is dig into the soil around the cattail base and when you locate a few rhizomes, grab and pull on them, trying to get the other ones out as well. Wash them thoroughly. You know what, I will try to take a picture of this stuff in the next few days.

      Happy foraging!

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