Typha laxmannii davidiana (Kronf.) C.F.Fang
Typha martini davidiana Kronf.
Typha davidiana is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a rhizomatous rootstock. It produces a clump of erect, unbranched stems up to 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
E. Asia - Northern China
Margins of lakes and rivers[
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Grows in boggy pond margins or shallow water to 15cm deep. Requires a rich soil if it is to do well. Succeeds in sun or part shade.
Provides excellent cover for water fowl[
Plants can be very invasive, spreading freely at the roots when in a suitable site[
Seedlings rapidly form clones by means of rhizomes in their first season, flower the second season, and often form very large, persistent, often monospecific stands[
Rhizomes - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour[
]. Rich in starch, around 30 - 46%, they can be boiled and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup[
]. The rhizomecan also be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein, this flour is used to make biscuits, cakes, bread etc.
The rhizomes at the base of erect shoots are mostly horizontal, unbranched, up to 70 cm long and 5 - 40mm in diameter. They are starchy, firm and scaly[
Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[
]. An asparagus substitute. The young shoots are cut from the underground stems in the spring when they are about 10 - 40cm long[
Base of mature stem - raw or cooked. It is best to remove the outer part of the stem. The base of the stem where it attaches to the rhizome can be boiled or roasted like potatoes[
Young flowering stem - raw, cooked or made into a soup. It tastes like sweet corn.
Seed - cooked. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, but has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted.
An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop[
Pollen - raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making bread, porridge etc. It can also be eaten with the young flowers, which makes it considerably easier to utilize. The pollen is a bright yellow or green colour, and turns pancakes, cookies or biscuits a pretty yellow colour[
The pollen can be harvested by placing the flowering stem over a wide but shallow container and then gently tapping the stem and brushing the pollen off with a fine brush[
]. This will help to pollinate the plant and thereby ensure that both pollen and seeds can be harvested[
The pollen is diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic[
]. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic[
]. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, haemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system[
]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women[
Externally, the pollen is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries[
The plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing wet banks of rivers, lakes etc.
We have no specific information for this species, but the following list of uses generally apply to all but the smallest-growing members of this genus:-
The stems and leaves have many uses, they make a good thatch, can be used in making paper, can be woven into mats, chairs, hats etc. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent addition to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc.
The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have good insulating and buoyancy properties.
The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks.
Seed - surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop, increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 - 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached, and plant them out into their permanent positions.