The cattail is a plant that grows in wet areas like marshes and swamps. It is native to North America. Though many people consider it to be a weed, some gardeners are beginning to find a place for it in water gardens.
Large cattails can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall. The plant is characterized by long, brown spikes that contain both male and female flowers. The roots of cattails are starchy and are sometimes eaten. They also produce a silky down that can be used for upholstery stuffing. The pollen of the cattail is flammable and is sometimes used for tinder.