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perennial

Variegated Cattail

Typha latifolia 'Variegata'

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Variegated Cattail (Typha latifolia 'Variegata') at Stein's Garden & Home

Variegated Cattail flowers

Variegated Cattail flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3

Other Names:  Variegated Bullrush, Variegated Reedmace

Description:

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

Ornamental Features

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.

Landscape Attributes

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;

  • Invasive

Variegated Cattail 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. 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. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container  Bog  Water 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features