These plants get their name from the fuzzy, elongated seed heads that remind some of the tails of cats. They belong to about 30 species of tall reedy marsh plants. They provide important wildlife habitat, shelter for birds, food, and cover for fish and the insects they eat. Cattails were also a food/medicine source for Native Americans.
Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)
Commonly called the Southern blue flag, the Blue Flag Iris is a wetland species of Iris that is native primarily to coastal plains from Virginia to Louisiana. It typically grows to 2ft tall and features non-fragrant violet-blue flowers with falls that are crested with yellow and white. This iris is deer resistant and not susceptible to disease.
White Waterlily (Nyphaea ordorata)
This plant belongs to a group of plants containing about 70 known species. They grow in water from 3 in. to 3 ft. deep and can spread from 2 ft. to 20 ft. wide. The flowers are usually fragrant with showy lily pads for leaves. The Native Americans used the plant as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments including colds, tuberculosis, bronchial complaints, and mouth sores.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their leaves in the Fall after turning a dark orange color. The tree grows well in many soils and moisture conditions and can withstand flooding. This tree can grow to a height of 50-70 ft. with a spread of about 25 ft. at maturity. The seeds are eaten by waterfowl, wading birds and provide larval food for the Baldcypress Spinx moth.