Source: Darren Guenther, © used with permission
It is said that if you find cattails you have 4 of the 5 things you need to survive: water, fire, shelter and food -- all you are missing is company.
The roots of cattails are edible (though they are fibrous, so it's best to grind them between stones and use the mush, discarding the fibers). The heads are quite cottony and burn well. The leaves make good shelters and can be woven into mats and baskets.
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