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10 Corn Dog Looking Plants with Names & Pictures

Do you know the popular corn-dog-looking plants that grow in the wetlands boast multiple species and have numerous usages?

Corn dog-looking plants are Cattails found in dense water in marshes and wetlands and boast about 30 species, including Common, Narrowleaf, Graceful, Southern, Miniature, and Laxmanii Cattails.

However, not all corn-dog-looking plants are Cattails, especially those found in similar wetlands and marshes as the corn dog looking plants.

Corn-dog plant (Typhaceae) is also known as Cattail.

Thus, known after Cattail, Bulrush, Reed, or Reedmace are naturally and densely packed together in about 2 feet of water in marshes and wetlands.

However, many people call them corn-dog plants for their signature dog-shaped spikes or flowers (female portion), which have multiple benefits and uses.

Do you know that Cattail leaves can be eaten and woven together to make shelters, mats, and baskets?

Corn dog plants display corndog looking spikes which grow on marsh and wetlands
Corn dog plants display corndog-looking spikes that grow on marshes and wetlands.

The topmost flower (male portion) will usually drop off in late summer or fall, leaving the female part intact.

In fact, you can grow some corn-dog plants at home and regularly harvest them in late summer and fall for different uses.

So, let us take a look at some popular vegetative corn-dog-looking plants.

1. Narrowleaf Cattail (Typha Angustifolia)

Narrowleaf Cattail is a herbaceous Typhaceae commonly found in Northern hemispherical regions like North America, Europe, and Asia.

The plant will rise about 3-6 feet tall, with leaves ranging about 2-5 feet long.

Narrowleaf Cattails are edible, including shoots and rhizomes. They naturally grow in brackish salt marshes and wetlands in elevations lower than 2,000 m.

Unlike Common Cattail, they display a skinner corn-dog flower measuring 1-2 cm wide.

The corn dog flower will measure about 4-8 inches long (female portion), and the topmost portion (male portion) will measure 3-8 inches long.

Narrowtail is a common cattail plant found in Northern Hemisphere regions
Narrowleaf is a common Cattail plant found in Northern Hemisphere regions.

This species is more salt tolerant, and the male and female portion of the flower is separated by an inch or so.

Provide sandy, loamy soil, full or partial sun, and water generously when the first 2-3 inches of soil dries when trying to grow it in a container.

2. Common Cattail (Typha Latifolia)

Also known as corn-dog grass, punks, or Reedmace, Common Cattail grows in marshy wetlands in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Common Cattail boasts a corn-dog-like flower in summer in the yellow shade, which will gradually turn brown.

As the top spikes begin to drop in fall, the lower part of the spike retains the signature brown shade, resembling a sausage.

Common Cattail is an edible species where parts are used for culinary purposes.

The dried Cattail stems can be prepared for baskets and mats, while seeds are used as raw material to stuff pillows and mattresses.

The spikes will reach 30 cm long and 4 cm wide and form from the grass in the dense clump, providing a haven for fish and other aquatic animals.

This semi-aquatic plant will only grow in water, with roots reaching up to 10 inches deep.

Ensure to provide organic soil, partial to full sunlight, and a temperature of about 70°F when growing in your backyard or container.

3. Graceful Cattail (Typha Laxmannii)

Graceful Cattail, or Typha Laxmanii, is a dwarf Cattai species that display a denser cluster of slender leaves.

The dwarf Cattail species is native to East Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia.

As the name suggests, Graceful Cattail is grown for its ornamental value, where they are popularly used for cut flower arrangements.

The flower spikes would appear from within the slender leaves, where the spikes would reach about 4-5 feet tall.

Like the Narrowleaf Cattail, the male and female flowers are separated by an inch or two.

The male flowers are golden yellow before they disintegrate in late summer, while greenish female flowers will gradually turn brown, giving the plant its signature corn-dog appearance.

It performs best in shallow water (12 inches deep) with the total or partial sun when grown in a container.

4. Southern Cattail (Typha Domingensis)

Southern Cattail is native to the U.S., primarily found in Southern states’ freshwater marshes and wet meadows.

Interestingly, Southern Cattail can tolerate higher salinity and grows in deeper waters.

The Southern Cattail will grow about 5-13 feet tall in its natural habitat, and flowers are 3-14.25 inches in diameter.

The topmost yellow flower portion will disintegrate, while the lower part will retain a cinnamon-brown color.

One way to tell Southern Cattail from other species is that it has flower clusters (male and female) between 2.5-5 cm apart.

Like other Cattails, several parts of this plant are edible and used for medicinal purposes.

Similarly, the foliage is slender and flat, with 6-10 leaves at most.

The plant is invasive when grown outside its native region and can become a serious weed.

It grows best in areas with daytime temperatures between 60-82°F, rich wet soil, and full or partial sun.

Plants also grow without soil. If you doubt, make some spare moments to read about plants growing without soil

5. Miniature Cattail (Typha Minima)

This is the shortest and perhaps the cutest Cattail in existence.

Miniature Cattail hardly reaches 12-13 inches (30-80 cm) at maturity, whereas some even reach 18 inches tall.

Typha minima are native to marshes and wetlands in Europe and Asia.

Typha minima displays shorter Cattail spikes
Typha minima display shorter Cattail spikes.

In fact, it displays petite, round flowers about 2 inches in height and blue-green foliage.

It blooms from mid-summer to late fall, where the male flowers are golden yellow before they shed their pollen.

The female spike will slowly turn from green to rich brown.

Even if the plant’s roots are short, it cannot tolerate more than one inch of water above its roots.

Miniature Cattail is mainly grown for ornamental purposes around the ponds by gardeners to add beauty to the garden.

Ensure to grow them in moist soil with one inch of water and provide full to partial sunlight.

6. Cattail Hybrid (Typha x Glauca)

Typha x Glauca is a hybrid version of Cattail originating as a cross between Typha Angustifolia (Narrowleaf Cattail) and Typha Latifolia (Common Cattail).

These perennial plants will thrive in wetlands and reach about 5-10 inches tall, where it spreads prolifically by rhizomes and may quickly take over the area by spreading their adventitious roots.

Therefore, it is considered an invasive species in the mid-western U.S.

It displays the qualities of both parent plants as a hybrid, boasting slender, linear leaves with sheathing bases.

Moreover, it is an edible Cattail and can be grown using sandy, loamy soil with full to partial sunlight.

7. Blue Flag (Iris Versicolor)

Irises are flowering plants with about 310 known species found around the world. Like Cattails, Blue flag irises grow in wetlands such as marshes and ponds.

In fact, they look a lot similar due to denser growth that grows about 2-3 feet before hitting maturity.

They are often mistaken for Cattails until they produce signature purplish blue flowers in maturity.

However, Blue Flag irises do not produce sausage-like flowers typical of corn-dog plants.

Remember, the Blue Flag is poisonous if ingested by both humans and pets.

8. Yellow Flag (Iris Pseudacorus)

Like the Blue flag, Yellow Flag irises resemble young Cattails and grow in wetlands throughout hardiness zones 4-9.

They will bear yellow flowers once they reach maturity, or at about three years. However, they will not produce signature cattail flowers.

Remember that the Yellow Flag will become invasive when grown outside its natural habitat.

It is considered a poisonous plant and should be kept away from the reach of humans and pets.

9. Chenille Plant (Acalypha Hispida)

The Chenille plant is an inedible flowering shrub belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae and native to wild habitats of Hawaii, Oceania, and Eastern Asia.

The Chenille plant produces oblong fruits that resemble Cattail flowers. However, there are striking differences between the Chenille and Cattail.

Also known as a red-hot cat’s tail, it grows fuzzy spikes that droop down and retains its signature red color.

In contrast, Cattails produce brownish spikes and stay erect.

Unlike Cattails, Chennils do not grow in moist land but on any slightly damp surface with full to partial sun and a temperature of around 60 ° F.

10. Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus)

Sweet flags are temperature-flowering plants that grow as wetland grass along streams and ponds.

Many gardeners confuse Sweet Flags for Cattails because of their rod-shaped spike that resembles Cattail flowers.

Remember, Sweet Flags have scales on their flower spikes and grow about 10 cm long, but Cattails do not. Moreover, sweet flag grass will hardly grow over 2-5 feet.

Acorus Calamus displays fruiting which resembles Cattail spikes
Acorus Calamus displays fruiting, which resembles Cattail spikes.

The grassy appearance of Sweet flag is easily mistaken as Cattail bush when they are young.

All parts of the plant affect the nervous system, so it is unfit for human consumption.

If you wish to ornate your garden with other water plants, 12 types of White Tulips can be great add-ons. 

Wrapping Up

Cattails are beautiful wetland species that thrive as semi-aquatic plants and provide shelter and food to water-dwelling animals.

Most Cattail plant parts are also edible and used for various household purposes, making them popular.

However, be wary of corn-dog-looking plants which resemble Cattails but are somewhat poisonous.