Difference between cattail and reed.

Cattails and reeds are plants that love water. But there is an eternal confusion with their names. And someone even believes that this is one and the same botanical specimen, but at different periods of its development. To establish the truth, we will find out how the cattail differs from the reed.


Cattail is a tall aquatic plant that forms the only genus of the cattail family of the same name. It grows in countries of temperate and tropical climates. According to one version, the name of this herb is derived from the word "horn".


Reed belongs to another family - sedges. Among its species there are both annuals and perennials. Like cattail, this plant is aquatic. Its vast thickets can be found along the shores of lakes or rivers.



So, a plant with velvety brown “candles” is a cattail. A much less noticeable grass is called reed. Let us consider in more detail what is the difference between reed mace and reeds.

The cattail has a strong, high stem. The taut ear with which it ends contains seeds. After they ripen, the ear begins to gradually collapse. First, it loses its density, and then the fluffs with seeds completely fly off, leaving a bare stalk. Getting on the water surface, the seeds do not drown for a long time, and the wind spreads them with ease. At some point, the seeds still go under the water and reach the bottom of the reservoir in order to grow later.

Cattail leaves, resembling long ribbons, grow from the rhizome and are partially submerged in water. Even when torn off and dry, they do not lose their elasticity. The leaf width is not the same for different plant species.

The stalk of the reed is round or triangular in cross-section. Inflorescence - in the form of an umbrella, brush or capitate. The structure of the leaf of a plant depends on the species. For example, in forest reeds, the leaf is similar to that of sedge, while in lake reeds, only bare stems are visible at all, and only at the very rhizome they are covered with scales.

Many, however, when asked what is the difference between cattail and reed, correctly answer that a plant with long ears is cattail. But reeds are confused with another water representative - reed. One of the distinctive features of the latter is a massive soft panicle, while the inflorescences of reeds are hard, prickly.

It must be said that both cattail and reeds are considered valuable plants. Their rhizomes are nutritious animal feed. People can also use these parts of plants for food purposes, such as making flour. They have cattail and reeds and are economically important as an excellent material for the manufacture of wicker products.