Cattail roots

by Aaron

When in need of some wild edibles, cattail roots are fairly good, especially in spring when their new shoots are young and succulent. Peel back the outer layers of rough, old growth and eat the younger growth. They can be eaten raw or boiled. Also, old man's bear or witch's hair has the dual purpose of being edible (tastes like lettuce) and is a good fire starter when dry. Make sure you eat the dark green variety.

Native Americans used to bake bunches of it underground for a treat that tastes like black licorice.

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You have to peel it
by: Anonymous

Peel the roots like a potato before you eat them. it takes away any (hmm*) "fiber" and leaves just the starchy goodness.

More on cattails
by: Chuck McKinney

Cattail roots are good but some folks think they are just a large, solid root. Actually they are rather fibrous inside and the best way to eat them after baking in the coals are just to chew, swallow the good part and spit out the fibrous remnants. Don't let those fibers put you off. It's good food. The stems have several inches of good food at the bottom. Best in the spring. Too old and the stems become pithy and aren't worth the trouble. The corm (the small greenish bit that becomes a stem) attached to the root is great. The early heads can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob and later in the year the pollen makes a good flour or addition to soups.

by: Anonymous

The are a great plant for survival purposes. "Natures Spag." I have found that the ends are not as great as some people might think for starting fires. I keep steel whool and a battery for emergencies. If it gets damp just shake it out and you can have a fire in no time.

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