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Cattail Seeds (Certified Organic)

By its creeping rootstocks, this typical marsh perennial forms dense stands in shallow water and provides a favorable habitat for red-winged blackbirds, as well as other marsh birds, and muskrats.

Availability: In stock

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By its creeping rootstocks, this typical marsh perennial forms dense stands in shallow water and provides a favorable habitat for red-winged blackbirds, as well as other marsh birds, and muskrats. Cattails have a wide variety of uses:

Use Ornamental: Water garden, Bog or pond area. Cattails can be used as an accent plant or for a thick privacy screen. Since cattails are aggressive they make great container plants when planted one per 12- to 19- inch pot. Blooming from March through May, cattails offer a unique flower perfect for dried arrangements.

Use Wildlife: Cattails provide nesting sites for red-winged blackbirds, ducks, geese and fish. Nutria, muskrats and beavers enjoy the shoots and roots, while teal ducks, finches and least bitterns eat the seeds.

Use Food: Historically, many parts of the cattail have been eaten and used in a variety of ways. References to them appear in written records dating to the 1600’s, and it is known they were found in caves in Ohio dating 800-1400 A.D. The rootstock is mostly starch and edible; it was ground into meal by First Nations, and the early colonists also used it for food. The young shoots can be eaten like asparagus, the immature flower spikes can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob, and the sprouts at the tip of the rootstock can be used in salads or boiled and served as greens. Cattail pollen can also be used as a flour substitute in bread making, and was additionally used in Native American religious ceremonies.

Use Medicinal: Amerindians poulticed jelly-like pounded roots on wounds, sores, boils, carbuncles, inflammations, scalds, burns. Fuzz from mature female flower heads applied to scalds, burns and to prevent chafing in babies. Young flower heads eaten for diarrhea. Roots infused in mild for dysentery and diarrhea. Down used as a dressing to pack burns. The Omaha tribe pulverized the root to form a paste used to heal burns, then covered the paste with the cattail flowers, while the Cheyenne took the powdered root for abdominal cramps.

Use Other: Used as padding for bedding, pillows & diapers. (Weiner) During World War II, the water-repellent and buoyant seeds were used by the U.S. Navy as substitute for kapok filler in life vests. Native Americans have used the feathery seeds for baby beds. When mixed with ash and lime, the seeds form cement that is reported to be harder than marble. For more than 10,000 years cattail leaves have provided Native Americans with a source for thatched roofs, woven floor mats and sandals. Leaves were twisted into rings and used under a collar to keep a horse’s neck from being injured. The stems produce a substance used as an adhesive. The Menomini and Meskwaki peoples used the root as a caulk to seal leaks in their boats. The fluff makes excellent tinder and can be easily spotted all year round. Dried cattails are effective insect repellents when burned.

Michigan Seeds and Plants grown on our farm, Renegade Acres, in Howell, MI!

Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth.

Additional Info

Botanical Name Typha latifolia
Life Cycle Perennial
Min. Time to Germinate 14 Days
Max. Time to Germinate 21 Days
Depth to Sow Seeds Surface Sow; press seeds gently into the soil to make good contact, but do not cover with any additional soil; these seeds require light to germinate
When to Sow Indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost
Growing Height 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
Plant Spacing 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Hardiness USDA Zone 3a: to -35F, USDA Zone 3b: to -30F, USDA Zone 4a: to -25F, USDA Zone 4b: to -20F, USDA Zone 5a: to -15F, USDA Zone 5b: to -10F, USDA Zone 6a: to -5F, USDA Zone 6b: to 0F, USDA Zone 7a: to 5F, USDA Zone 7b: to 10F, USDA Zone 8a: to 15F, USDA Zone 8b: to 20F, USDA Zone 9a: to 25F, USDA Zone 9b: to 30F, USDA Zone 10a: to 35F, USDA Zone 10b: to 40F, USDA Zone 11a: to 45F, USDA Zone 11b: to 50F
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade
Danger Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color Brown/Bronze
Bloom Time Mid-Summer
Foliage Herbaceous
Other Details Flowers are good for cutting, Flowers are good for drying and preserving, Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Soil pH Requirements 4.5 or below (very acidic), 4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic), 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic), 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic), 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic), 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral), 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline), 7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
Propagation Methods By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets), By dividing the rootball, From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Seed Collecting Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seeds Per Pack 100