Sunday, 28 September 2008


I have some Reedmace (Typha latifolia) in the boggy part of the garden, next to the ponds. It produced plenty of leaves this year but has yet to flower. I'm hoping it will do so next year because it is most attractive (as seen here at Exeter Univeristy).

Description: Reedmace - often mistakenly called Bulrush and known by Americans as Cattails - are grasslike plants with strap-shaped leaves 1 to 5 centimeters wide and growing up to 1.8 meters tall. The male flowers are borne in a dense mass above the female flowers. These last only a short time, leaving the female flowers that develop into the brown cattail. Pollen from the male flowers is often abundant and bright yellow.

Habitat and Distribution: Reedmace is found throughout most of the world. Look for them in full sun areas at the margins of lakes, streams, canals, rivers, and brackish water.

Edible Parts: The young tender shoots are edible raw or cooked. The rhizome is often very tough but is a rich source of starch. Pound the rhizome to remove the starch and use as a flour. The pollen is also an exceptional source of starch. When the reedmace is immature and still green, you can boil the female portion and eat it like corn on the cob.

Other Uses: The dried leaves are an excellent source of weaving material you can use to make floats and rafts. The cottony seeds make good pillow stuffing and insulation. The fluff makes excellent tinder. Dried reedmace are effective insect repellents when burned.

(Edibility and uses - courtesy of Edible and medicinal plants of Alberta)


  1. Ah. So when I recently blogged about Bulrushes at Maumulon they were Reed Mace. So what is a Bulrush?

  2. Thanks for the generous-spirited visit to AngryPenguin. I was charmed to bits. Looking at your wonderful blogs, I see many common threads in our lives and interests.
    Oh, and.....
    your photography is superb!

    good spirit



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