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Content tagged with "wild edible"

Usage for brown- and red-flowering edibles Wild Rose - Hollyhock

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Photo of a bull thistle flowerhead.

Bull Thistle

Cirsium vulgare
Bull thistle is a weedy introduction from Europe, found statewide. To tell it from our other thistles, note its stems with spiny-margined wings, and its leaves with the upper surface strongly roughened with stiff, spiny bristles.

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Photo of a bull thistle flowerhead.

Bull Thistle (Flowerhead)

The flowerheads of bull thistle are reddish purple to purple, with a prominent involucre (the flowerhead base, covered by leaflike bracts), which is covered with a fine, cobweb-like silk. Spiny bracts grow right up to the flowerheads.

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Photo of bull thistle showing stems with spiny wings.

Bull Thistle (Stem)

Bull thistle has stems with spiny-margined wings. This trait, combined with the pink flowerheads, is a quick way to identify this common, weedy species.

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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

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

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 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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