High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Typha latifolia 'Variegata'
Variegated Cattail flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3
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. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
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 ideally suited for growing in a pond, water garden or patio water container, and is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Water Gardens
- Container Planting
- Bog Gardens
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.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. As an aquatic plant, it requires a suitable water garden environment and will benefit from special planting and ongoing care practices; consult one of our in-store experts for further details and instructions. 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 water 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. Note that when grown in outdoor pots and containers, aquatic plants like this one will require a special growing environment that meets their requirement for consistent moisture.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.