Historically, cattail was not abundant at Quivira. It is now quite common in marshes where the salinity is not high.
All parts of this cattail species are edible if picked or gathered at the appropriate time. The pollen can be used as a substitute for flour and the stems can be boiled or roasted. Wildlife mostly eat the spring shoots, stems or roots. Muskrats, moose, and geese are some of the animals that eat cattails.