The cattails will be one of the things we will require to survive. It has many uses. The top part that is brown can be broken open in fall and the fluff or pollen is great tinder for starting fires. It can also be used as down to stuff in your jacket to keep you warm. The root is like a potato and can be dug up even into winter and cooked like a potato. The stock contains a starch which when beaten in cold water will produce a flour like powder which can be used to make bread.