Notes Cattail

And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.

Also they would hit him on the head with a reed and spit upon him, and, bending their knees, they would do obeissance to him.

I am once again taking the generic approach with Typha, but most of the entries are for Middle Eastern or tropical species. Zohary hints that the Hebrew suf often represents a collective word for aquatic plants, like reeds, rushes, and water weeds; but Exodus 3:3 and Isaiah 19:6 can be translated directly to Typha, T. australis being the most common species in Israel. Typha dominates many of the ditches and tributaries of the Nile in lower Egypt. BOU and GHA references below apply to T. domingensis, JLH to T. angustifolia, AVP and EGG to both.

Many old paintings depicting Jesus's mock trial, picture him with the cattail in his hand as a scepter. The leaves are plaited into such articles as ropes, winnowing trays, mats, and also are employed as caulking. The silky florets of spikes are used for stuffing and tinder. Ashes are sometimes used as a salt substitute. Fruiting spikes with oil serve for illumination. The pollen was used during emergency as an absorbent in surgery.

FIGURE 1.115 Cattail (Typha sp).
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