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Content tagged with "wetland plant"

Photo of several cattail plants all connected to single runner

Cattail Plants

Cattails can be used in an amazing variety of ways—by people all over the world—for food, fiber, pillow stuffing, basketry, roof thatching, and paper pulp. Researchers who study how people use plants are called ethnobotanists, and they have fascinating stories to tell.

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Photo of several cattail plants all connected to single runner

Cattail Plants

Cattails can spread quickly. Where wet soil is disturbed to bare mud, they can quickly colonize, hold soil in place, increase siltation, and impede water flow, eventually filling in the wet place. They can be nuisance plants in lakes and ponds, crowding out other plants, filling in old shallow ponds, attracting muskrats to dams, and impeding rainwater discharge on spillways.

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Photo of cattail root system showing rhizomes and new shoots

Cattail Roots And Shoots

All parts of cattails are edible and have been used as food worldwide. The nutritious, starchy rhizomes are eaten raw, cooked, or dried and ground into a flour. Roots can be made into a jelly. You can peel off the outer portion of tender young shoots and eat them like asparagus. When the flower spike is immature and still green, you can peel away the leaf sheath protecting it and cook and eat it like corn on the cob. You can shake the pollen from mature plants into a bag and use it to supplement flour in pancakes, breads, and other dishes.

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Photo of several cattail flowering stalks

Cattails

Typha spp.
Missouri’s cattails are all tall wetland plants with narrow, upright leaves emerging from a thick base, and a central stalk bearing a brown, sausage-shaped flower spike.

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Photo of several cattail flowering stalks

Cattails

Missouri’s cattails are all tall wetland plants with narrow, upright leaves emerging from a thick base, and a central stalk bearing a brown, sausage-shaped flower spike.

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Photo of a dense stand of cattail plants

Cattails

Cattails are important wetland plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting places for a variety of animals, including insects, young fish, frogs, muskrat, beaver, many bird species, and more. They also help stabilize soil.

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Photo of common cattail colony

Common Cattail (Broad-Leaved Cattail)

Common cattail, or broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia), has flat leaves to 1 inch wide and usually reaches 8 feet high. The male and female flower sections are close together (the stalk isn’t visible above the brown sausagelike section and beneath the yellowish pollen-bearing section).

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Photo of a dense stand of common cattail plants

Common Cattail (Broad-Leaved Cattail)

Common cattail, or broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia), like other cattails, spreads from thick, fleshy rhizomes and from the thousands of fluffy seeds released when the flower spike disintegrates. Because of their rapid growth and tendency to collect soil around their roots, cattails can fill in shallow ponds and other wet areas.

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Photo of common reed plants in large colony

Common Reed

Phragmites australis australis
Common reed is both native and exotic, but it’s the exotic subspecies that has become an invasive problem. Taking over wetlands with its dense stands, it changes the plant and animal communities and even the way the water flows.

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Photo of common reed plants in large colony

Common Reed (Colony)

Common reed is both native and exotic, but it’s the exotic subspecies that has become an invasive problem. Taking over wetlands with its dense stands, it changes the plant and animal communities and even the way the water flows.

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