Introduction: Eat Invasive Species: Phragmites

“Cossack asparagus” is traditionally the young shoots from Common Cattail (Typha latifolia), but it’s very close to the Phragmites shoots we collected Monday at And like asparagus, one of the best recipes is the simplest. A little boiling, butter, salt, and pepper.

½ lb Phargmites shoots, washed
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs salt
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring several quarts of water to a boil with 1Tbs of salt. Add the shoots to the water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the shoots and place in serving try, melting and evenly distributing the butter over the top. Salt and pepper to taste.


Serve the shoots still warm but at a handling temperature. Peel 3 or 4 of the tough outer layers off the shoot, to reveal the soft core. Holding the shoot by the hard green end, bite off the core. Alternatively, peel the shoots and cut off the tips before serving. I like finger food.