Cattail: Plant of a Thousand Uses

One fall day, on a visit to Bancroft Pond, Missoula’s urban wetland wedged between Bancroft and 34th St., my eight-year-old daughter and her friend collected grocery bags filled with cattail fluff. The two girls filled hand-sewn pillows with the cattail down, unknowingly mimicking the indigenous use of the plant’s seeds in lining moccasins and papoose boards.