Typha latifolia 'Variegata'
Variegated Cattail flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Other Names: Variegated Bullrush, Variegated Reedmace
This variety forms a visually pleasing clump of long, gray-green leaves striped in cream; produces upright stems of round, brown cattail flowers during the summer, that will remain into winter; containerize in smaller ponds
Variegated Cattail has masses of beautiful spikes of brown catkins rising above the foliage in mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive grassy leaves are grayish green in color with prominent creamy white stripes. The foliage often turns yellow in fall.
Variegated Cattail is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
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;
Variegated Cattail is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Variegated Cattail will grow to be about 5 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 is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Variegated Cattail is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants 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.