[permaculture] Reeds and Cattails

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Thu Feb 7 23:55:41 EST 2008

I didn't mention that my "reed" bed (I call it a constructed wetland, or 
bog garden if the inspector is looking) contains goldstripe bulrush 
(Schoenoplectus tabernaemontanae),  some Scirpus bulrush, yellow and 
Siberian iris, canna lily, and dwarf and micro-dwarf cattails (Typha 
minima). Full-size cattails can get 12 feet tall in a nice fertile 
greywater system, and I don't have room for that in my urban yard.  The 
dwarf types are great for home-size systems. I don't actually have reeds.


Kai Vido wrote:
> --- "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflj at intrex.net> wrote:
>> What are the full Latin and common names for these plants:
>> Juncus, Scirpus and Typha
> Juncus= Rush (not Limbaugh)
> Scirpus= Bulrush (common name also applied to other genera)
> Typha= Cattail 
> More info at: 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juncus
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scirpus
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typha
> Here in inland New Brunswick, zone 3b, we have an abundance of Juncus
> effusus and J. bufonius, Typha latifolia, and several species of
> Scirpus. 
> Typha (cattail) is particularly noteworthy because nearly every part of
> the plant is edible, not necessarily as daily fare but as a nutritious,
> palatable and widely available "survival food". The abundant (in
> season) pollen has an excellent flavour and the immature flower heads
> are quite good as "corn on the cob". Likewise the first shoots in early
> spring; the roots I've never tried, but they are very starchy and were
> used as flour. A Permaculture plant...?
> Bon appetit!
> Kai
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