i asked my husband to dig up a cattail for me this afternoon and try to get part of the rhizome. after several failed efforts in knee high water with a spade, he took off his gloves and reached under the water to pull one up by hand. it worked, although the tuberous rhizome that fed so many native people in the northern hemisphere for so many centuries stayed mostly under the surface with this cattail’s neighbors. still, i love the reminder that most plants are only half exposed, and the parts we can see are usually matched by equally long root systems out of our sight. at lunchtime, steve and i ate poached eggs on toast. i asked him how they tasted, and he said they tasted great, but for some reason they had a swampy sewer gas smell. hmmm. so weird, i said.
cattail with root system
turtle lake, shoreview, minnesota