Name: Rogіz shirokolisty – cattail angustifolia
Broad-leaved ryegrass (Typha latifolia), narrow-leaved ryegrass (Typha angustifolia); the Rogozo family (Typhaceae); broad-leaved cattail, narrow-leaf cattail
Cattles are perennial herbaceous plants, up to 2 m tall. Their rhizome is thick, creeping. The leaves are linear. Most often, they grow near ponds with slow-flowing water and swamps – throughout the forest belt of the European part of Russia, there are in Siberia (up to Transbaikalia), they occur in Yakutia, as well as throughout the territory of Ukraine. Cattles are characterized by cylindrical, first green, then brown spike-like inflorescences. They bloom in June.
The rhizomes of the plant are used, which are harvested in spring or late autumn, when there is a lot of starch in them. Dried raw materials can be stored for a long time.
The rhizomes of both types of cattail contain a lot of starch (up to 40%), up to 11.5% sugar and protein substances (up to 24%). In some areas, for example, in the Caucasus, they are made into flour or eaten baked. Flour, which is made from dried rhizomes of cattails, is yellowish, and if you add 10-15% of rye or wheat to it, then you can bake bread or pastries from the resulting mixture. The same dough, mixed with milk, is used in the confectionery industry to bake biscuits. Delicious desserts are made from roasted sweet rhizomes, and coffee substitute from roasted and ground ones.
In Russia, during the civil war, ryegrass was one of the most important food surrogates. In Germany, jelly was made from it, flour was made, and pastries and bread were baked in a mixture with rye.
The lower part of the stem, located closer to the rhizomes, is also used to obtain flour. Young cattail seedlings have good nutritional qualities – they are just as useful as tiger lily bulbs. Boiled shoots taste like asparagus. Young flowering stalks of cattails are pickled.
Another recipe for the use of the plant has recently become known. It turns out that you can harvest the fluff of ripe inflorescences. They are collected, peeled from the stem, threshed, and then used as wool or any filler for making blankets (pre-punching through fabric).