Monday, September 1, 2008

Bulrush - 'Sistat' (Pawnee)

I came across a stand of bulrush over the weekend while checking out the cattail stands. I do not see it often in this area, but seems to prefer marshy ground. It was a favorite, along with cattails, among the peoples for making mats and shelter coverings, baskets, dolls, and in some areas even boats. It has a papery sheath with a spongy interior, and a wisp of seedhead at the top. I have not eaten this plant, perhaps the next excursion, but the tender young shoots and older shoot bases can be eaten raw. The rootstock can be dried, pounded, and grounded into flour. I am not the best basket weaver, but I like it for making containers.

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