Cattail pollen is a highly nutritious bounty that can be gathered from the stalk in late Spring early Summer. You have to watch your cattail stands because the window of opportunity to harvest is very short - about a week...provided there are not substantial rain or wind storms.
The pollen is harvested by dipping the male part of the flower stalk into a container like a paper bag and shaking it gently to release the pollen. In a healthy cattail-stand you can harvest about a cup an hour using this method. Once you have enough you will need to sift or run the pollen through a sieve or fine mesh to separate undesirables like pollen head fibers, insects, and leaf debris. Store in a cool dark place.
Cattail pollen is often used in baking, as an additive to flour, to make cakes, breads, pancakes muffins, etc...usually substituting 1/3 to 1/2 of your flour.
You can also eat the pollen raw, sprinkled on yogurt, fruit shakes, oatmeal, and salads. Cattail also is used as an herbal remedy in Chinese herbal traditions (www.tcmtreatment.com/herbs/0-puhuang.htm )
People pay outrageous prices in health stores for tiny capsules of the bee pollenóa source of minerals, enzymes, protein, and energy. Cattail pollen beats the commercial variety in flavor, energy content, freshness, nutrition, and price.