Typha latifolia L., Typhaceae
The edible shoots of cattails are the 'palm hearts' of Saskatchewan! The tough, fibrous outer leaves harbor tender inner leaves as well as the tender core of cattails. When these tasty and nutritious little greens are poking from water surfaces, then it's time for us to wade through remote boreal wetlands. A true wilderness experience! Cattail hearts taste delicately mild and gentle, resembling the tastes of zucchini, cucumber, rutabaga, and honeydew. They can be eaten raw or cooked. They add a refreshing crunchiness and mild flavor to salads and soups. They are superb in stir-fry and a great, wild substitute for leek in any recipe. Try grilled cattail hearts rolled up in cheese and ham. Cattail hearts pair deliciously well with wild rice.
Wild cattail hearts are rich in vitamins A, B complex, and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and phosphorus.
We wild-harvest cattail hearts from May to July in the wilderness of northern Saskatchewan.