So may parts of cattails (Typha latifolia) are edible. The early shoots are edible as a vegetable in early spring. Pull apart the leaves when they are about 2' tall to get to the tender heart, and eat it like bamboo shoots, chopped raw in salads, and pickled lightly. The flavor is very similar to cucumber. Cattail flowers are a good source of bright yellow pollen in late spring in southeastern Connecticut. We gather and sift the pollen and use it as a nutritious supplement in baking throughout the year.
|Gillian and the sheathed flower spikes|
|Removing the male yellow-green pulp from the spike|
This recipe is available in our book, available Spring 2016.
|Cattail flower stalk; male portion|
on top, female portion on the bottom