Narrowleaf Cattail flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: Lesser Bullrush, Lesser Reedmace
This variety forms a clump of narrow grassy leaves, producing upright stems of fat, round, brown cattail flowers during the summer, and will remain into winter; containerize in smaller ponds
Narrowleaf Cattail has masses of beautiful spikes of brown catkins rising above the foliage from early to mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its grassy leaves are dark green in color. The foliage often turns yellow in fall.
Narrowleaf Cattail is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Narrowleaf Cattail is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Water Gardens
- Container Planting
- Bog Gardens
Planting & Growing
Narrowleaf Cattail will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Narrowleaf Cattail is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.