It is difficult not to smile when you see a clump of cattails growing wild in the wetlands or strategically placed in a beautiful water feature or pond. Mature cattails really do look like corn dogs on a stick! They are one of the most common plants to grow in our natural wetlands. If given the right growing conditions, cattails can grow quickly and spread vigorously. They prefer shallow water, usually around 1 or 2 feet deep, and are easily established along the edge of a pond or even on the side of the road in a boggy ditch. Cattails require “wet feet” during most of their life to thrive. Gardeners are often hesitant to add too many to the home waterscape because they can become invasive and block the view of the pond or water feature.
Another interesting fact about cattails: no other green plant produces more edible starch per acre than cattails. Plans were in the works to feed American soldiers this starch when World War II came to an end.