If you’re interested in knowing one plant you could potentially live off of, look no further than cattail. It’s easy to identify, abundant, and you can eat all parts of it. There is at least one part of cattail edible any month of the year.

Today, I harvested cattail shoots. The easiest way to harvest them, so I hear, is to peel the outer leaves away and grab the inner leaves and pull slowly strait up. I never have any luck with that and the cattail breaks or just doesn’t come out, so I reach in with my hands or a digging stick.

In the next two months, cattail will get taller and there will be more to harvest. You may harvest the shoots when the are 50% to 75% fully grown. They were pretty little today, but I still harvested a few.

Note of Warning: Cattail absorbs pollutants and since they live in swamps they can collect a lot of them. Be sure your source has abundant cattails and waterway feeding into the swamp is clean and free of heavy metals, oil, and other harmful pollutants.

Print Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Cattail Shoots

Buttery, Delicious Cattail Shoots


  • 1/4 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 12 Cattail Shoots
  • 1/4 Cup Water


  • Harvest cattail shoots from a plentiful location free of heavy metal pollution.
  • Peel cattails until you have the soft, fleshy inner part. Discard the outer leaves.
  • Heat skillet. Add canola oil and cattail shoots. Add water to ensure they don't burn.

Add butter when almost done.

  • Enjoy!


1 Comment
  1. Lewrooster 3 years ago

    5 stars
    I’ve been waiting to try cattails! Thanks

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