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Get Outside Like Minna!- The September Edition

September 12, 2019
by Becky Ferrigno

Can you name the plant in this picture?


Let me give you some hints.

1. They are found along the

edges of ponds and in marshes.

2. They can be used to make mats

and baskets.

3.  They share their name with a

favorite household pet.

If you guessed CAT TAILS, you are correct!

Cattails are often called the grocery store for wetlands. (Wetlands are areas of land where water covers or is present in the soil all year long.) Cattails have numerous uses throughout the year. As mentioned before, they can be used to make mats or baskets. Native Americans used the roots to make flour!

Cattails, The Extremely Useful Plant


If you have the opportunity, take a moment and break open a cattail.

Inside, it is filled with soft, fluffy fibers.

This soft, white wool was used by Native Americans

for diapers because of it’s texture and absorbency.


Hmmm…I feel like I have seen fiber like this before…


If the insides of cattails remind you of pillow fiber,

                   you are right!

In a pinch, cattail wool can be used to add

thickness and warmth to clothing layers

or serve as a pillow for your head.

But that’s not all!

The brown heads can be used as fire starters. Also, the inside of stalks can be cooked as part of a tasty and natural stir fry!

So there you have it! The next time you Get Outside Like Minna, look for these grocery store plants!

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Blazing A Trail: The Story of Minna Anthony Common today! The journal in the back is the perfect place to log all of your nature adventures!


Pictures are sourced from:







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