Bushcraft Survival Skills, Cattail on the Cob and Cattail Pollen Wild Food.
The cattail is one of the most important and most common wild foods that also boast a variety of uses at different times of the year. Cattails (aka bulrushes) can be used to make mats, baskets, and the cigar-shaped head can even be used as packing material. Dipping the head in oil or fat, they can be used as torches. Aboriginals used the roots to make flour (high in protein and carbohydrates) and the fluffy wool of the head was used as diapers because of its softness and absorbency. The fluffy wool is similar to down and can be used as insulation in clothing, pillows, mattresses, quilts, and life jackets. These “cigar-heads” are also excellent fire started. The tight heads are often dry inside even after a heavy rain, making this essential survival tinder. Inside the stalks of fresh shoots is tasty food that can be eaten as is, sautéed or tossed into a stir fry.