When I was in grade school, my mother embarked on an intense interest in arts and crafts that lasted the rest of her life. I have memories of her collecting dried wild plants to use in craft projects.
One time, we had to pull over when she saw a stand of cattails. She cut several stalks, seeking the most attractive "candlewicks," the familiar cigar-shaped ends that are actually covered with flowers.
I don't recall the specifics of the trip, but apparently the cattails were in the trunk of the car for some time. Later, when Mom opened the trunk, fluffy clouds burst forth. The cattail flowers had gone to their next phase of development in the warm car trunk, forming a "wool" that has many practical uses, but none for the project Mom intended.
Cattails appear in my latest mystery novel, The Body in the Cattails - A Rose Creek Mystery Book 1.
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