|Known Hazards:||None known|
|Range:||E. Asia – China.|
|Edibility Rating (1-5):||4||Medicinal Rating (1-5):||3|
|Systematics:||From a UDSA Plants Database|
|Order: Typhales. Cat-tail family|
Perennial at a fast rate. . The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. We rate it 4/5 for edibility and 3/5 for medicinal use.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Pond, Bog Garden.
Flowers; Leaves; Oil; Pollen; Root; Seed; Stem.
Roots – raw or cooked. It can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The root can also be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein, this flour is used to make biscuits, cakes, bread etc. Young shoots in spring – raw or cooked
Anticoagulant; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Haemostatic.
The pollen is diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic
Biomass; Insulation; Miscellany; Paper; Soil stabilization; Stuffing; Thatching; Weaving.
The stems and leaves have many uses, they make a good thatch, can be used in making paper, can be woven into mats, chairs, hats etc. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent addition to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc. The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have good insulating and buoyancy properties. The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks. This plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing wet banks of rivers, lakes etc.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Grows in boggy pond margins or shallow water to 15cm deep. Requires a rich soil if it is to do well. Succeeds in sun or part shade. Provides excellent cover for water fowl
Seed – surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop, increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer. Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached, and plant them out into their permanent positions.