Herb latin name: Typha laxmannii
Family: Typhaceae (Cat-tail Family)
Medicinal use of Typha laxmannii:The stamens and pollen are used as an astringent and styptic.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Lakes, rivers, ditches and wet places in Turkey.
Edible parts of Typha laxmannii:Roots - raw or cooked. They can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The roots 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, bread, cakes etc. Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked. An asparagus substitute. Base of mature stem - raw or cooked. It is best to remove the outer part of the stem. Young flowering stem - raw, cooked or made into a soup. It tastes like sweet corn. Seed - cooked. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize, but has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop. Pollen - raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making bread, porridge etc. It can also be eaten with the young flowers, which makes it considerably easier to utilize. The pollen can be harvested by placing the flowering stem over a wide but shallow container and then gently tapping the stem and brushing the pollen off with a fine brush. This will help to pollinate the plant and thereby ensure that both pollen and seeds can be harvested. Flowering stem - cooked. Tastes like sweet corn.
Other uses of the herb:The stems have many uses, gathered in the autumn 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. A fibre obtained from the leaves can be used for making paper The leaves are harvested in summer, autumn or winter and are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1? hours. They make a green or brown paper. The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have good insulating and buoyancy properties and have also been used as a wound dressing and a lining for babies nappies. The stems can be used to make rush lights. The outer skin is removed except for a small strip, or spine, running the entire length to give stability. The stem is then soaked in oil. A fibre is obtained from the blossom stem and flowers. The pollen is highly inflammable, it is used in making fireworks etc.
Propagation of Typha laxmannii: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.
Cultivation of the herb:Lakes, rivers, ditches and wet places in Turkey.
Known hazards of Typha laxmannii:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.