Re: NANFA-- willows and maybe cattails

R. W. Wolff (
Mon, 6 Jan 2003 14:18:17 -0600

My cattails do fine, I have three species. latifolia, augustifolia ( you can
tell them apart by the spacing between the male and female parts of the seed
head) and that dwarf thing they sell at garden centers. The large ones
actually grow well in sand. They also grow bare root over deepr water,
making the floating cattail beds you can see at the marsh. Pretty neat after
a wind storm. One day the road is lined with cattails out 100 yards, the
next day they are a quarter mile away and its all open water.
For pracitcality, keeping them in a pot , especially in a small pond is
best. I have had some problems with them spreading too much, and unless you
like lying in the water feeling out roots and cutting them off every two
months, best to contain them. As for them inhibiting other plants, I have no
problems with things growing along side them or down current. However the
only plants that grow inside a mass of them are bog and terrestrial, usually
taking hold on dead leaf material from the year before, so there maybe
something to that. The roots are shaggy, but not as nice as iris roots. I
would recommend them over the cattails, the same affect, plus pretty flowers
and nice roots. Get thems started in a small basket or a area of sand/gravel
that is not very large so when the roots grow out you get a nice mass of fry
cover. If anything iris are easy to grow from seeds, and after a couple
years the plants should be big and impressive. Doesn't take too long.

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