Plants that look like Cattails or Typha Latifolia can be cultivated as houseplants to increase the aesthetic appeal of the house interior or may be planted in the backyard to enhance garden beauty. However, most people find it hard to gather detailed information about Cattail lookalike plants.

Plants that Look Like Cattails

Don’t worry if you are amongst those people because we are here with a complete list of plants that resembles Cattails. Check out the descriptions of the plants below to know which plant best suits your choice.

List of Plants That Look Like Cattails

1. Pampas Grass

The Pampas Grass is scientifically known as Cortaderia Selloana. It is a huge ornamental plant from South America that belongs to the Poaceae family.

– Features

It features a big, lush, grassy mound around ten feet tall. This grass has tall, slender, drooping blades that can grow to be over three feet long. It prefers to form tussocks or clusters of grass.

The towering silvery-white, feather-like plumes of this plant are its most striking characteristic. These plumes are delicate to contact and provide a unique accent in a landscape, standing out against other plants.

Pampas Grass

Further, it also features tiny, razor-sharp leaf blades with whip-like, razor-sharp serrated borders, showy blooms that appear in autumn and late summer, and are suitable for cut and dried bouquets.

– Growth Requirements

It tolerates a broad range of soils, seaside, and sandy climates, is very salt resistant, drought tolerant, and deer graze resistant. It requires plenty of fertilizer and water during the growing season and enjoys full light and well-drained soil.

This plant should be spaced around fifteen feet apart so that it would grow tall enough and accomplish the perfect width as it would grow and multiply and ask for space as they do so. It looks best as a specimen, either alone or with a landscape of evergreens.

2. Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass, also known as Cenchrus Alopecuroides, is a clumping perennial herb that is commonly used in mass plantings, as a display item, or in bed borders. It has highly arched leaves that turn yellowish during the fall. It is not as invasive as Maiden or Pampas Grass, and it does not blossom in severe shade.

– Features

Spikelets feature one or two blooms and range in color from yellow-green to reddish-brown. Its leaves are alternating, simple, arching, linear, lurid, bright emerald, up to two feet long and broad, with an amber-yellow fall hue.

Fountain Grass

– Growth Requirements

This plant grows well in damp, well-drained soil. It has no major pest or disease issues. This species is also resilient to deer nibbling and has a mild salt tolerance. Its seeds are accessible as brown grain, which breaks open after a harsh cold and easily naturalizes.

Its blossom is a raceme of elongated cylindrical spikelets imitating a fox tail or bottlebrush. Furthermore, note that this plant requires a three-foot space between plants.

Its petals are awn in their shape by elongated spikes and may be used fresh or dried, however, it shatters before winter. It needs about six hours of direct sunshine every day.

3. Prince’s Feather

Amaranthus Hypochondriacus, sometimes known as Prince’s Feather, is an attractive annual herbaceous or shallow perennial plant with stunning feathery red blooms. It looks like the cattail but the elongated green leaves that it has.

– Features

It has distal leaves with petioles that are somewhat shorter than the blade but grow larger proximally and is four inches in length by two inches broad.

– Growth Requirements

It is frequently regarded as a nuisance in both wasteland and agricultural areas. Amaranthus is monoecious, which means that individual blooms can be male or female, although both categories can coexist on the same plant.

Prince Feather

The Prince’s Feather loves well-drained, healthy soil that receives full light. It is frequently farmed, particularly in tropical locations, for its edible seeds and leaves while it is less common in northern climates due to its late maturation. The plant has a tendency to cluster, and this is why at times, aphids might be an issue for this plant.

– Cautiousness

Amaranthus is not harmful, however when cultivated in nitrogen-rich soils, the leaves can accumulate nitrates. Nitrates have been linked to stomach cancer, blue infants, and other health issues.

It is thus not recommended to consume this shrub if it is cultivated on the ground that has been treated with chemical fertilizers.

4. Sweet Flag

The Sweet Flag also goes by its scientific name Acorus Calamus. This plant looks like the cattail because of the tip that it has.

– Features

The flowers on this plant are not particularly beautiful and appear in late April. Greenish blooms are borne on elongated spadixes with no spectacular spathes. Its leaf edges are wavy, and there is a noticeable mid-rib. When the foliage is damaged, they release a sweet smell.

It has Iris-like spear foliage that is approximately four inches broad and grows in basal bunches up to two feet tall.

Sweet Flag

– Growth Requirements

It grows readily in swampy, moist areas with water no deeper than three inches. To inhibit weed growth, plant this near the edge of the water or in containers.

It prefers midday shade, especially during the hot southern summers. Its crushed foliage and roots are delightfully perfumed, thus the popular name.

It is generally planted as an accent or sample foliage shrub in ponds or water gardens, although it may also be found in low locations, naturalized, or wooded environments with enough soil moisture.

It has no major insect, disease, or plant concerns. However, if the soil is not kept continuously wet, leaf scorch might result.

5. Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow Flag Iris aka Iris Pseudacorus is in the Iridaceae family and is indigenous to Africa and Eurasia. This plant is naturally attracted to marshes. This plant closely resembles the common cattail.

– Features

It has showy yellow blooms in the spring and brilliant green sword-shaped clumping leaves that can grow up to three feet tall. This plant grows fast and aggressively in moist soils, containing water up to ten inches deep or mud near a pond.

It features sword-shaped leaves with parallel vascular bundles and smooth edges that may grow and become as tall as three feet tall and an inch broad.

Yellow Flag Iris

– Growth Requirements

Yellow Flag Iris grows by root systems and spores and may quickly outcompete native plants in moist areas. Although it enjoys full sun and swampy areas, it may tolerate somewhat drier conditions in damp to watery gardens. It is a common perennial found around ponds and streams.

This plant is classified as an invasive plant, which means it poses a danger to wetland environments because it is capable of spreading via seeds and plantlets, as well as its fast development.

6. Southern Blue Flag Iris

Southern Blue Flag Iris is a delicate and lovely flowering plant that looks a lot like the southern cattail. It is indigenous to Canada and the Northern part of the US, from the middle states to the east coast and also in West Texas.

– Features

Its colloquial name alludes to its natural love for marshes. It has drooping, strap-shaped leaves that are brilliant green in color and reach a height of around three feet.

It should be grown at the edge of a pond, in a water garden, in a rain garden, or in any other low-lying, wet section of the landscape. In late April, the foliage is topped by pale blue to purple flowers that bloom on stalks. White blooms emerge in the fall and may be crowned with a yellow frill.

Southern Blue Flag Iris

– Growth Requirements

What this beautiful grass needs when it is growing is a soil that is moist to extremely wet, humus to clay soil, this is because it lives in marshy places and the soil will absorb water, as well as swampy acidic places with full light.

Blue Flag Iris may grow in six inches of pure standing water and must not be allowed to dry up throughout the growing season. This iris could be left in freshwater during the winter and is suitable for pond borders up to six inches high.

7. Chenille Plant

Acalypha Hispida, or Chenille Plant, is a tropical shrub of the spurge family that grows to be approximately five feet tall and seven feet broad.

– Features

It bears long drooping pendant blossoms that may reach up to eighteen inches in length. Because it cannot endure the winter outdoors, it should be planted as an annual bed linen plant or as a house plant.

It has seven-inch-long leaves that are light green in color, oval to heart-shaped, mimic nettle, and may be bristly.

Chenille Plant

– Growth Requirements

It tolerates a broad variety of acidic soil and soil conditions, including clay soils, and prefers moderate but not excessive rainfall. Once planted, it is drought tolerant, however, it does not withstand salt.

It thrives as an ornamental tree or in a planter on a balcony or roof garden that may be taken inside for the winter.

Once a year, trim it down to six inches just above the earth to stimulate fresh bushy growth and additional blossoms. From spring until summer, this plant must be fed weekly, and its leaves should be misted to enhance humidity levels. In some regions, it may also be cultivated as a hedging specimen or container plant.


Now that you have learned everything about plants that look like Cattails here are a few main points that you can keep in mind,

  • The seeds and leaves of the Prince’s Feather plant are edible, hence, if you are looking for edible plants that resemble Cattails, this should be your choice.
  • If you own a water garden and wish to grow plants that share a similar look to Cattails then go for the Sweet Flag plant.
  • Yellow Iris or Blue Iris are beautiful ornamental flowering plants that you can grow to decorate not only your outdoor garden but also indoors.

You can choose any one or more plants from this list to get the feel of Cattails without having them.

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